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EU Green Week
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Circular Economy: Squaring the Circle: Can we afford to buy circular products? Can we afford not to?

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What happens to Circular Economy thinking when economic times are hard? Can producers square the circle, and deliver products that are circular, sustainable, and affordable to all, or will the temptation to deliver low cost at any cost win the day? Can products be inclusive, affordable and accessible, whilst also being durable, efficient, repairable and safe?

Consumers often say they want to buy green, but even if they have the right information to make their choices, it is often perceived as an exclusive option – a luxury available only to those who buy organic produce and drive electric cars. With inflation at a twenty-year high, is it reasonable to force €10 jeans off the market because they are too cheap? Can we expect consumers to make decisions based on life-time costs, not purchase price? Buying a reusable straw or cup might not break the bank, but what about the vulnerable consumer who needs a new washing machine or car? And does moving away from consumer ownership to sharing and servitisation offer answers?

As the EU moves towards broader mandatory Ecodesign requirements, the right to repair and to regulate green claims, this session takes a close look at the social consequences of sustainable products, zeroing in on potential impacts on the vulnerable, asking – what does it mean to leave no one behind? What will be the real consequences for workers and consumers, and particularly the vulnerable, in the transition to a circular economy.

The panellists take a deep dive into these perceptions, looking at product efficiency, performance and durability, and ways of generating benefits and cost savings for all, irrespective of their place on the earnings ladder.

  • circular economy
  • Tuesday 6 June 2023, 14:10 - 15:10 (CEST)
  • Brussels, Belgium


Practical information

Tuesday 6 June 2023, 14:10 - 15:10 (CEST)
Charlemagne building, GASPERI room
Brussels, Belgium