Europe towards the circular economy: Challenges and Progress!

The current global dynamic, characterised by massive overproduction and overconsumption, is raising growing concerns about the environment and sustainable development. Faced with these challenges, the European Union (EU) has positioned itself as a pioneer in the search for innovative solutions. Two of the biggest challenges in this quest are the management of unsold products and the accumulation of obsolete electronic equipment.

I. The EU and transformation towards sustainable management of unsold products

The mountains of unsold products that often end up as waste symbolise the inefficiencies of a traditional linear economy. This reality, exacerbated by trends towards overproduction, represents a colossal waste of resources, with disastrous environmental consequences.

The awakening of the European Commission :

The European Commission, as the EU’s executive arm, has not remained passive in the face of this problem. Recognising the challenges posed by the destruction of unsold products, it has initiated discussions as part of the ecodesign regulation. The aim of this initiative was to establish clear guidelines for better management and recovery of unsold products.

However, as is often the case in politics, the road to consensus is strewn with pitfalls. The trialogue, the essential consultation process between Parliament, the Council and the Commission, scheduled for 10 October, has had to be postponed. Differences of opinion and interest between the various stakeholders have led to delays, fuelling a mixture of concern and hope among observers.