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How will Europe’s ecodesign measures affect the circular economy in low-income countries?

The risks and rewards of European circular design for low-income countries

2017 Available in English

A roadside phone repair shack displays recycled phones in an African marketplace

A roadside phone repair shack displays recycled phones in an African marketplace. Photo: Dan Rosenberg

In developing countries, millions of people already make their living from circular trades such as repair and recycling. The way we design our products in the EU – the toxic chemicals we permit and the ease of repair that we require – has a strong influence over their livelihoods. But these impacts are not currently considered. This paper explores how the EU’s design standards could be used to enhance rather than endanger these people’s lives.

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