Europe lays out expanded ecodesign rules with plan for digital product passports

The European Union (EU) revealed a ‘green deal,’ which is a new package of sustainability-focused policy proposals, that underpins the bloc’s plan to make the region ‘climate neutral’ by 2050. Among those proposals is Digital Product Passports, which is part of a wider endeavor to increase product sustainability via a Regulation on Ecodesign for Sustainable Products (ESPR). This regulation pinpoints new requirements to ‘make products more durable, reliable, reusable, upgradable, reparable, easier to maintain, refurbish and recycle, and energy and resource efficient’ which applies to a myriad of products such as metals and textiles all the way up to mobile phones and tablets. The EU plans further revised eco-design rules including a proposal to introduce Digital Product Passports to store key data aiming at improving traceability around products and support repair/recycling by standardising the information which product manufacturers must provide.