Addressing resource efficiency through the Ecodesign Directive

A review of opportunities and barriers

image of Addressing resource efficiency through the Ecodesign Directive

The European Union has initiated a number of initiatives to improve resource efficiency in Europe. The Ecodesign Directive is one of the policy instruments that could aid the transition towards a more resource efficient economy. So far, the Directive has mainly been applied to set requirements related to energy efficiency, but there is potential for setting legal standards that increase product durability and promote the future re-use and recycling of components and materials. This paper examines the potential benefits and disadvantages in applying the Directive for this purpose, and analyzes the potential to apply certain types of legal standards. There is a need for continuous development of indicators and methods in order to allow for a broader range of legal standards in the future. The study provides some short and long term recommendations on the way forward.



Existing studies

This chapter summarizes the findings in the most relevant studies examining the potential and suitability of addressing resource use issues through the Ecodesign Directive. Apart from studies directly related to this topic, some studies related to “chemicals in products” are included, due to that chemicals in products are a key barrier for setting requirements for e.g. recyclability and recycled content. Further, findings from general studies on policies for ecodesign are also accounted for when the findings are considered to be of great interest in the context of this study. Only findings from recent studies – mainly from the last five years – are discussed. The chapter ends with a discussion on the main learnings form the studies, and the policy implications.


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