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France : Circular economy roadmap: better consumption to make our products last.

Like mobile phones, many everyday devices and devices are replaced by new products, even though they could still be used. Traveling to Poitiers Monday, February 12, Brune Poirson, Secretary of State to the Minister of Transition Ecological and Solidarity, unveiled the measures under consideration to extend the life of products. With the addition of the "better consume" and "mobilize all actors" themes, the entire roadmap project is now subject to public consultation.

The obsolescence of products is expensive for the planet and the consumer

Various reasons or forms of obsolescence contribute to the rapid replacement of our products: a broken product can not be repaired; it no longer corresponds to the uses from a technical point of view; it no longer corresponds to consumer desires, it is called aesthetic obsolescence; or its lifetime is deliberately reduced by its manufacturer to push the consumer to replace it with a new one: it is called programmed obsolescence.

The obsolescence of the products contributes to increase the consumption of natural resources already subjected to strong pressures on a world scale. The first initiative of its kind in Europe, the French government instituted the crime of obsolescence programmed in the law of 17 August 2015 on the energy transition for green growth, to preserve the environment but also protect the consumer.

Concrete proposals to extend the life of products

To go further in the fight against the obsolescence of the products, it is advisable to act in favor of the prolongation of their life.

The Circular Economy Roadmap project proposes for the public consultation several concrete measures in favor of extending the life of products, in its "better consume" part: for certain product categories (household appliances, DIY equipment, etc.), display simple information on their life span : for this purpose, a life index for French consumers has been developed and could be included in the label energy, to provide the consumer with simple and easily understandable information, while being an incentive for manufacturers. The index would be calculated on the basis of 10 criteria giving a score out of 10. It includes criteria of durability, repairability and robustness; strengthen the supply of professionals and actors for re - use, repair and the economy of functionality ; strengthen obligations on the availability of spare parts; launch an easy-to-access digital application that will consolidate and simplify all existing product information, including lifecycle.

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Publication:Mena Report
Date:Feb 14, 2018
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