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  • Dear Readers!

    Even after just a few months, 2019 is already panning out to be a year full of uncertainty. We are all having to face a variety of challenges. With many of these linked to climate change and the environment, they are automatically affecting the environmental services sector as well. The impact of climate change could be felt all around the world last year with countries being struck by floods, forest fires and drought – and experts are expecting more of the same this year. Both industrial and political decision-makers and consumers across the globe are well aware that urgent measures need to be taken to reduce greenhouse gas emissions – something that has been further highlighted by the young Swedish environmental activist, Greta Thunberg, who has inspired schoolchildren to take to the streets on Fridays to get adults to finally tackle this problem. This will be a mammoth task as it involves nothing less than halting the loss of biodiversity and ensuring there are sufficient supplies of natural resources for future generations. And this is precisely what REMONDIS does by recovering high quality raw materials from waste. Indeed, there is no other individual measure that is so successful at cutting greenhouse gas emissions and conserving natural resources. And this is why we see it as our task to extend the reach of our services and pass on our know-how to others – especially to other countries – to promote resource-friendly recycling activities.

    Our industry is currently undergoing a technological change that will alter the way many things are done. As the world becomes ever more digital, it is inevitable that this technology will have an impact on our everyday lives as well as on the way we do business. The spread of digitisation, however, is creating its own new set of challenges. The political environment in many regions around the world is also changing which could hamper our cross-border efforts to promote sustainable development. This, of course, also includes the uncertainty surrounding Brexit and the growing tensions between the so-called superpowers. We need the support of our politicians so that we can make the world that little bit more sustainable – whether it be the implementation of a Europe-wide landfill ban or the creation of an Ecodesign Directive that takes raw material efficiency into account as well as energy efficiency. All in all, the upcoming European Elections will be an important political milestone for Europe.

    REMONDIS is doing its utmost to turn these challenges into opportunities and to navigate through these stormy seas safely. We are marking out the way for sustainable success by investing in technology and growing our portfolio.

    You can find out more about our plans for the future by taking a look through this latest issue of REMONDIS AKTUELL – and discover how our customers can benefit from our strong and stable services in these volatile times. 

    Yours

    Egbert Tölle

Focusing on conserving resources & curbing climate change

  • The European Union has taken a further step towards advancing sustainability by turning their attention to electrical and electronic devices. A number of comprehensive amendments to the Ecodesign Directive aim to make electrical equipment – and in particular household appliances – more resource and climate friendly. For the first time ever, the EU has now focused on the life cycle of these products.

Ten product groups initially affected by the new rules

  • The European Commission and EU member states have chosen to take a two-pronged approach in their amendment of the Ecodesign Directive. On the one hand, they are intending to toughen up the energy efficiency regulations that are already in place. On the other, they wish to introduce new rules regarding the life cycle of electrical appliances. To begin with, these will apply to ten product groups, in particular household appliances (such as dishwashers, washing machines and fridges) and lamps. The EU wishes to make it possible for these appliances to be used for longer by making it easier to both repair them and get hold of spare parts. Spare parts, for example, must be available for a longer period than is currently the case and everyone should be able to access information about how to repair an appliance if it breaks down. What’s more, they should be designed so that they can be fixed using standard everyday tools.

    • From March 2021 onwards, manufacturers of electrical devices in the EU must make it much easier for their appliances to be repaired

Law comes into force in March 2021

The majority of these new regulations will become binding from March 2021 onwards. The new section focusing on a product’s life cycle will certainly help to conserve our planet’s natural resources as large volumes of raw materials are needed to manufacture new appliances. Having said that, however, the repaired products will also eventually become redundant – no doubt as soon as the point is reached when the age and performance of a machine outweigh the repair costs.

REMONDIS is calling for the recyclability of products to be included in the Ecodesign Directive.

With this in mind, REMONDIS continues to call for greater focus to be put on raw material efficiency. The goal here is to have product labels that not only inform consumers about energy efficiency but also about the products’ recyclability. For example, how well a fridge can be recycled once it reaches the end of its useful life and whether it already contains recycled raw materials. This enables consumers to base their decision on more information than simply price and expected life span.

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