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The European Council (EC) has officially approved the new Ecodesign for Sustainable Products Regulation (ESPR), which sets sustainability criteria for a wide range of products across the EU. This regulation replaces the existing eco-design directive (2009/125/EC) and introduces additional eco-design criteria applicable to a broader range of products sold on the EU market.

Test and certification company SGS has emphasized the EC’s recent approval of the ESPR, highlighting its aim to establish rigorous green standards for sustainable products. The regulation requires all products to be designed for extended lifespans and to be more easily repairable, upgradeable, and recyclable.

The updated ecodesign framework is designed to address various aspects of the product development lifecycle, promoting practices that contribute to sustainability. It covers sustainability elements such as product durability, reusability, upgradability, and repairability, alongside the use of substances that inhibit circularity. Additionally, it addresses energy and resource efficiency, recycled content, remanufacturing and recycling, and the carbon and environmental footprints of products.

SGS noted that a new ‘Digital Product Passport’ has been introduced, which is designed to assist consumers and businesses in making informed purchasing decisions by providing details about a product’s environmental sustainability. The Commission is tasked with managing a public web portal, allowing consumers to access and compare information contained within these product passports.

Following approval from the Council, the legislative act will be signed by the Presidents of the European Parliament and the Council, according to SGS. It will then be published in the Official Journal of the European Union and become effective 20 days after publication. Enforcement of the regulation will begin 24 months later.

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