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Regulating planned obsolescence: a review of legal approaches to increase product durability and reparability in Europe

  • Carl Dalhammar
  • Eleonore Maitre-Ekern
Publishing year: 2016-11-19
Language: English
Pages: 378-394
Publication/Series: Review of European, Comparative & International Environmental Law (RECIEL)
Volume: 25
Issue: 3
Document type: Journal article
Publisher: John Wiley and Sons Ltd

Abstract english

Improving product durability and reparability can save natural resources and money for consumers but may not always be in the best interest of all manufacturers. With the emergence of the circular economy as an important policy objective in the European Union (EU), there is renewed interest in policies to promote durability and address planned obsolescence. Different legislative approaches are currently used to provide incentives for design for durability and reparability at the EU and Member State levels. The EU has started to regulate durability through the Ecodesign Directive, whereas Member States have made use of other legal approaches such as longer consumer warranties, the criminalization of planned obsolescence and measures to incentivize the availability of spare parts. In this contribution, we review some of the legislation in place and discuss benefits and disadvantages of different legal approaches.


  • Law and Society
  • durability, ecodesign, circular economy


  • ISSN: 2050-0386
Carl Dalhammar
E-mail: carl [dot] dalhammar [at] iiiee [dot] lu [dot] se

International Institute for Industrial Environmental Economics (IIIEE)

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