Circular appliances: building a more sustainable EU market

Jun 21 2021

The home appliance sector pursues circularity throughout the entire products’ lifecycle. The routes to circularity are many. In the EU, a circular economy that works for its citizens must build on a coherent EU policy framework that pursues a higher degree of sustainability, while preserving the Single Market, promoting industrial competition and innovation.

Over the last decades, home appliances have delivered increasingly higher efficiency standards, not only at the user phase. Circularity, in fact, is enhanced throughout all the life stages of a device: it starts with raw materials followed by the design of the product, through production, use and consumption, repair, and recycling. At this latter stage, recycled waste is injected back into the economy as a secondary raw material and the cycle begins again. In a circular economy, products serve their purpose for as long as possible and then are turned into other home appliances or different tools including benches or bicycles, continuing to offer a service to users. There are a variety of ways to drive resource efficiency and manufacture sustainable products that advance the circular economy: targeting at-source material efficiency, for instance by reducing the quantity of material used in the creation of products, increasing the efficiency of products during their use phase, using more sustainable materials, designing for durability and repair as well as for recovery. Moreover, a whole new range of sustainable alternatives such as product-as-service models and digital solutions, for instance, are underway and can contribute to a better quality of life, innovative jobs and upgraded knowledge and skills. These new sustainable goods, services and businesses, together with traditional sales models, can contribute to foster more sustainable consumption patterns.

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Source: REVOLVE magazine