Moving on from the Throw-Away Society: thought-provoking ideas at PSI

Julia Bernert

Published on 22.12.2022

At the end of March 2022, the EU Commission approved a legislative package of measures to make sustainable products the norm in the European Union. These proposals will contribute significantly to achieving the goals of the European Green Deal – Europe’s strategy to reach its climate targets by 2030 in a fair, cost effective and competitive way – and to implementing the core areas of the Circular Economy Action Plan. In a keynote speech at PSI 2023, as well as at an upcoming industry event of the Academy for Textile Finishing, Lutz Gathmann will be highlighting possible solutions for companies to get out of the throw-away society.

EU strives for circular economy

Lutz Gathmann, product designer and product safety expert, regularly provides information on sustainable approaches in the industry on his platform and at the Düsseldorf Promotional Products Show PSI. In his portal “Produktsicherheit aktuell” he states: “Our current economic model still works in the form of a throw-away society. It depletes our resources, pollutes our environment and damages biodiversity and the climate. It also makes Europe dependent on resources from other countries. That’s why the EU is aiming for a circular economy based on more sustainable products.”

Taking into account the environmental impact of products throughout their lifecycle and extending their lifespan will lead to more sustainable, more circular and more resource-efficient products in the EU. More sustainable products – e.g. electrical appliances, furniture and textiles – make the EU economy more resilient.

EU Commission banks on awareness-raising and catalog of measures

With its initiatives for sustainable products, the EU Commission wants to ensure that products on the EU market are sustainable, more energy- and resource-efficient, repairable, reusable and preferably made from recycled materials. All companies should have a competitive level globally, without being undercut by other companies that do not take climate protection seriously. In addition, all consumers should have access to information about environmentally harmful practices and durable products. Companies should be able to access the data they need to ensure sustainable and circular products and business models.

To achieve the goals, there is an extensive catalog of measures with guiding measures for circular and sustainable products. For example, lower environmental impacts of products are to be achieved through better designs. The destruction of unsold products is to become a thing of the past, sustainable business models are to be promoted more strongly, and public procurement is to be linked more closely to environmentally oriented aspects.

Under revision: the Ecodesign Directive

The Ecodesign Regulation for sustainable products, proposed as part of the European Green Deal, is central to the Commission’s approach to more eco-friendly and circular products. It is intended to replace the current Ecodesign Directive 2009/125/EC, which has been improving the energy efficiency and circularity of energy-related products for more than a decade. Until then, the current directive will continue to be applicable, including through the implementation of the new Ecodesign and Energy Labelling Work Plan 2022-2024 adopted on March 30, 2022.

Keynote speech by Lutz Gathmann at PSI on January 10 at 1:15 p.m.

Titled ” Exit or excuse, are recycled fishing nets, bamboo tableware and bioplastics sustainable materials?“, Lutz Gathmann will provide thought-provoking ideas at PSI on where we stand in terms of sustainability and how we can overcome the throw-away society.

You can find the information about the lecture here:

Workshop with Lutz Gathmann in Düsseldorf on February 9

Under the theme ” Escape from the throw-away society”, Lutz Gathmann is offering a full-day workshop in Düsseldorf as a follow-up to PSI. The host is the PSI Institute. The workshop presenter will delve into the ideas for overcoming the throwaway society. He will show solutions on how companies can adopt a more sustainable approach. In addition, participants will learn what companies should know about the EU’s Green Deal and what concrete organizational changes are in store for them.

PSI members receive a discount on the workshop.

All information on the workshop: