The European Commission announced their new ecodesign priorities on 8 November, but do they have the right approach to drive resource efficiency? This and other questions were discussed by the panellists including Sirpa Pietikainen MEP, Seb Dance MEP, Nick Lakin, group director of government affairs and communities at Kingfisher plc; and Dustin Benton, acting deputy director at Green Alliance.
Céline Charveriat, executive director at the Institute for European Environmental Policy, chaired the debate.
Sirpa Pietikainen MEP spoke about her own work in the European Parliament on ecodesign and said a paradigm shift was needed to support the transition to a circular economy, including policy for better product design.
Seb Dance MEP spoke about how Brexit could impact the UK's approach to ecodesign. He highlighted the need for the UK to match the EU's ecodesign policy.
Nick Lakin spoke about how companies would respond, sharing his own experience at Kingfisher, as well as emphasising the need to consider consumers. Ecodesign has to stay at flat cost to engage people.
Céline Charveriat opened up the discussion to the audience.
Q: Any initial thoughts on the six products that have been chosen by the Commission?
A: (Dustin Benton) It’s a shame about toasters, but from a British perspective, I’m glad kettles have made it in. I'm disappointed not to see smartphones on the list, including these would boost repair significantly.