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European Economic and Social Committee calls for ending Planned Obsolescence
Nowadays, obsolescence brings little if any advantage in terms of jobs. “Most of these products are manufactured outside Europe, by underpaid workers,” points out Mr Haber, who is the opinion’s co-rapporteur and a member of the EESC’s Consultative Commission on Industrial Change. “If we threw away less, we would have to repair more, creating thousands of jobs closer to home.”
Obsolescence is not always down to wear and tear. By its very nature, the fashion industry, for example, is built around consumer demand for new and different styles not the durability of individual garments. But even here, turnover is becoming faster and new models are often designed to make their predecessors look ugly or out-of-date.
In terms of concrete action, the EESC plans to organise a major European Round Table in 2014 involving all the relevant actors and covering all sectors including industry, distribution, finance, consumer associations and trade unions. The event will also include an open forum to allow EU citizens to express their own views.