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Carl Dalhammar

Carl Dalhammar

Senior lecturer

Carl Dalhammar

Principles for the design of a policy framework to address product life cycle impacts


  • Michael G. Faure
  • Carl Dalhammar

Summary, in English

Introduction: Product-oriented environmental law is an expanding, poly-thematic subsection of environmental law. First, an increasing number of policy instruments are being used at the international, European and national levels to regulate products, including mandatory performance standards, consumer subsidies, public procurement practices, product bans, taxes and charges and various kinds of mandatory and voluntary labelling schemes. Second, the policies cover an increasing range of environmental issues and life cycle phases, including product chemical content, requirements regarding collection and recycling, energy efficiency, bio-based materials, durability and lifetime performance, conflict minerals and working conditions. These policies can work in synergy and interact well, or they can contradict each other in various ways. It depends both on the policy design, but also on how the policies are applied. There are various ideas on (1) how these policies should work together in a policy mix and (2) how their interaction can be improved. Maitre-Ekern has outlined some important principles behind choice of policies for product policy, and concluded that a policy mix is required due to the inherent limitations of specific policy instruments to contribute to the changes needed. There are, however, very few examples of these principles being applied and lessons being learned in the ‘law and economics’ field with regard to ‘design’ principles or approaches to an appropriate policy mix. This contribution aims to redress these deficiencies by making a preliminary attempt to apply elements not only from this area of the literature, but other legal research as well, to product regulation. We concentrate on European law, i.e. EU laws as well as relevant Member State initiatives. This is explained by the book’s European focus, but also because (1) the EU is the main global standard-setter for product regulation and often has the most stringent standards compared to, e.g., the US and Japan and (2) other jurisdictions often apply EU standards. As Bradford has shown, the US and other jurisdictions tend to comply in practice with many EU laws in the absence of relevant US regulations.


  • The International Institute for Industrial Environmental Economics

Publishing year







Preventing Environmental Damage from Products : An Analysis of the Policy and Regulatory Framework in Europe

Document type

Book chapter


Cambridge University Press


  • Law and Society




  • ISBN: 9781108500128
  • ISBN: 9781108422444