Empowering consumers in the green transition - The potential of digital solutions for waste collection and product labelling
The European Commission adopted the Circular Economy Action Plan (CEAP) in March 2020. This plan announces initiatives along the entire life cycle of products. It promotes circular economy processes, encourages sustainable consumption, and aims to ensure that waste is prevented and the resources used are kept in the EU economy for as long as possible. The EU also aims to improve the communication of essential information on chemicals and in so doing, reduce hazardous chemicals’ adverse effects on health and the environment.
To contribute to these goals, the EU is looking to simplify and streamline labelling requirements for some categories of chemicals and chemical products, and the use of digital labelling. This could increase the cost-effectiveness and overall competitiveness of the EU chemicals industry.
Product-specific information requirements will ensure consumers know the environmental impacts of their purchases. All regulated products will have Digital Product Passports. This will make it easier to repair or recycle products and facilitate tracking substances of concern along the supply chain. The proposal also contains measures to end the destruction of unsold consumer goods, as well as expand green public procurement and provide incentives for sustainable products.
Industry stakeholders call for a digital EU-harmonised label to support consumer behaviours and the end of life management of packaging. The benefits of digital labelling include more flexibility to adapt to changes and potential for innovation, easy access for consumers, efficient communication of information, and support for the supply chain and waste sorting facilities.
Join this EURACTIV Virtual Conference to discuss what potential there is for harmonised digital solutions for separate collection of waste and labelling in the EU. How can challenges like multi-language packaging be addressed? What are the advantages and limitations of digital labelling and digital product passports?
Malte Gallée MEP, Member ENVI Committee, European Parliament
Anna Larsson, Director, Central and Eastern Europe, Reloop
Stefan Sipka, Policy Analyst, EPC
Niko Tessin, European Association of Steel Drum Manufacturers (SEFA)
Luca Ruini, President CONAI
15:30 – 15:35 Welcome
15:35 – 15:50 Panellist statements
15:50 - 16:40 Discussion and Q&A
16:40 – 16:45 Closing statements
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The European Commission is rolling out digital product passports as a way of informing consumers about the environmental impact of their purchases. Can they be a silver bullet to cut waste and boost recycling?