The role of consumers in the Circular Economy (own-initiative opinion)

EESC opinion: The role of consumers in the Circular Economy (own-initiative opinion)

Key points

The EESC calls for a strategic shift at all levels to unequivocally promote new models of circularity, not only by stepping up the alignment of all actors, but also by placing consumers at the centre of public policy. Education, life-long training and self-learning must be put in place, and consumers should be provided with the most objective information possible. Delivery of these actions will be measured according to the UN's SDG 12 (Responsible Production and Consumption) and its associated targets, generating new standardisation processes. The social and environmental footprint of products should  be calculated through reliable, comparable and verifiable indicators, particularly those relating to chemical substances. Europe's leadership in the circular economy must be matched by a business environment that facilitates the internationalisation of circular economy goods and services. Greenwashing and social-washing must be countered by official monitoring and accreditation. Taxation and public procurement are effective tools to gear a reward-based approach to responsible production and consumption as part of the gradual standardisation of products and services, including voluntary labelling, as a step towards mandatory labelling.

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