Newsletter April 2022

low-impact timber buildings

The biggest news in the field of eco or circular product design is the publication of the proposal for a new Ecodesign for Sustainable Products Regulation (ESPR) on the 30th of March 2022.

It is the cornerstone of the Commission’s approach to more environmentally sustainable and circular products and should be heeded by anyone involved in the manufacture and sale of goods in Europe. Particularly with respect to textiles, furniture, mattresses, tyres, detergents, paints, lubricants, iron, steel and aluminium, which the Commission has identified at key products to target.

The new regulation will allow for the setting of a wide range of requirements for products including;

  1. product durability, reusability, upgradability and reparability
  2. presence of substances that inhibit circularity
  3. energy and resource efficiency
  4. recycled content
  5. remanufacturing and recycling
  6. carbon and environmental footprints
  7. information requirements, including a Digital Product Passport

Digital product passports will be the norm for all products regulated under the
ESPR. Gathering information from supply chains is a slow and time consuming process and so it is imperative that manufacturers start collating the necessary information now.

The proposed ESPR also includes measures to

  • prevent and stop the destruction of unsold consumer goods
  • set mandatory criteria for the public procurement of environmentally sustainable products
  • set eco design performance requirements for textile products
  • introduce mandatory Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR ) schemes
  • incentivise the manufacture of sustainable products
  • educate & empower customers to choose sustainable products

The commission intend to launch a public consultation on the targeted products listed above by the end of 2022.  You can read documents related to the proposed Ecodesign for Sustainable Products Regulation (ESPR) here, and another analysis on ESPR it by the NGO Ecos

And now for some sustainable / circular business news

It would be remiss of me not to mention the Irish Wood and Interiors Network Annual Conference 2022 – Innovate for Success, in Dublin, which I will be speaking at next Thursday the 5th of May

The GIY are hosting a series of practical demonstrations by chefs on how to reduce waste in commercial kitchen

The average individual UK pension saver can bring about a cut in carbon emissions of 19 tonnes a year by switching to a sustainable fund – 21 times more than the combined carbon savings of using renewable energy, going veggie and not flying. This article discusses the power of our pensions and offers tips on how to make your money matter. (Via Sustainability Works)

A new, voluntary standard for sustainable TV studio facilities that has been created by and for the industry.

A interesting serial CO 2 -neutral building renovation system in Germany.

Air Protein creates fake steak from CO2 that replicates taste and texture of meat

Global shipping firm, CMA CGM Group, will no longer transport any plastic waste aboard

Finally the pseudo green credentials of bamboo are being challenged by authorities, this time in the US

The Financial Times release a online game to get to net zero by 2050

Disappointingly 68% of U.S. execs admit their companies are guilty of greenwashing

Sweden has an ambitious plan to cut emissions from the products that its citizens consume

Climate migration is already starting in the US

Vogue discusses the future of retail

Stunning low-impact timber buildings in an Austrian forest

Pilot to collect for reuse tens of thousands of bottles from London venues

UN secretary general Antonio Guterres has launched a “supergroup” of experts to scrutinise company climate pledges,

The plugin Sellalong lets customers sell back their old clothes in exchange for real-time credit 

Mineral paint manufacturer Keim have launched an eco-friendly, breathable, one coat interior paint

Edinburgh-based start-up Celtic Renewables is turning waste matter from whisky production into a “next-generation biofuel” — biobutanol.

Boots in the UK team up with panel maker to collect hard-to-recycle items and convert them into panelling with ReFactory

By recycling a road’s surface and bonding it with a by-product of the paper industry Carbon Crusher makes carbon negative roads.

Working in Fashion? Then you might be interested in the EU-funded Fashion for Change 2022 Accelerator Programme, which aims to support designers, innovators and start-ups from the European textiles and fashion industry in the circular transition. Applicants can submit their proposal until 19 May.

Dutch Government to ban single use plastic cups and containers for festivals and events in 2024.

Students and researchers at  Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia (IAAC) build a solar greenhouse for zero-miles food production

Starbucks will remove the toxic chemical PFAS from its packaging by the end of 2023. Burger King, McDonalds and Taco Bell have also committed to ending PFAS packaging by 2025.

Tyres made with polyester from recycled PET bottles launched by Continental


If you’d like to discuss how any of these developments will impact your business feel free to get in touch via our contact page


Published by Elaine Butler

I am a circular design consultant helping manfacturers prepare for the circular economy