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Christmas stroll in Dresden

Photo: Sebastian Kahnert / dpa

Larger retailers will no longer be allowed to destroy unsold clothing in the EU. Negotiators from the European Parliament and the EU states also agreed on Tuesday night that the EU Commission can extend the ban to other products in the future, the two negotiating sides announced.

Parliament and EU member states still have to officially approve the agreement, but this is considered a formality. The background to the new ban is a proposal by the EU Commission from March 2022 on the so-called Ecodesign Regulation. The aim is to make products last longer, easier to reuse, repair and recycle, and use fewer resources such as energy and water.

According to the information, there are exceptions for small companies, and a transition period of six years for medium-sized companies. In principle, the ban is to be applied two years after the regulation enters into force.

The details of the specific requirements for individual products have not yet been determined. The agreement states that the EU Commission can issue legally binding requirements to make goods such as furniture, tires, detergents, paints or chemicals more environmentally friendly. However, numerous raw materials such as iron, steel and aluminium are also to be regulated accordingly in the future. Exceptions are provided for cars or military products, for example.

The chairwoman of the Internal Market Committee in the EU Parliament, Anna Cavazzini (Greens), emphasized that there will also be a repair index in the future. This would allow consumers to see how easy it is to repair a product when making a purchase.