As part of the New Industrial Strategy for Europe, the European Commission puplished a New Circular Economy Action plan this week (we reported on a formerly leaked version here). Building on the first action plan of 2015, the new document focus on activities in production and design. The aim is to reduce products carbon and material footprint and embedding circularity across the economy.
The core of the action plan will be a new sustainable product policy framework, supposed to implement sustainability as a new norm along EU-industry. In a nutshell: The New Action Plan is supposed to ensure that “products placed on the EU market are designed to last longer, are easier to reuse, repair and recycle, and incorporate as much as possible recycled material instead of primary raw material. Single-use will be restricted, premature obsolescence tackled and the destruction of unsold durable goods banned” (European Commission, Press Release, 11.03.2020).
And hand dryer industries will be affected in various ways:
(1) new industry norms might bring along news transparency rules and necessary changes in production cycle. Early implementation of new requirements in product development process and the evaluation of supply-chain-partners will protect you from bad surprises and competitive weakness.
(2) new measures to empower consumers will include strong standards of available, trustworthy and relevant product information regarding reusability, durability and repairability. Further the commission decided ways to improve consumer rights and protection, f.e. working towards a ‘right to repair’ for consumers.
In the big picture, the commissions approach is a further step to an EU economy favouring always the most sustainable solution. The approach clearly deplores any use of disposable products and overall ensure less waste. Electric hand dryers are the best solution fulfilling these objectives and, in the long term, will benefit from this political direction.
There will be many upcoming negotiations regarding the details of the single measures and their legal implementations. The eHa-Association will observe the further developments and take action in order to protect their members interests if necessary.