The world’s population continues to grow and resources are limited. The economy tries to respond to the growing needs of billions of human beings. One of the possible solutions is sustainable development, in which eco-design is framed.
Single-use, disposable products are becoming a thing of the past. In a context in which resources are finite, the circular economy begins to prevail. Recyclable products have an increasing weight, as they can be reused and have a much longer life cycle.
One of the main challenges of the 21st century is preserving the environment and reducing the amount of waste generated by families and companies. For this reason, there are many companies that are committed to the manufacture of products with a longer life cycle and that generate more waste. Likewise, more and more families are leaning towards responsible consumption. And it is that, increases the number of customers who prefer to pay more for a product that has been produced in an environmentally friendly way.
The concept of ecodesign
This is where ecodesign comes in, which seeks to produce products with fewer effects on the environment and that can be recycled. Thus, ecodesign affects the different processes of a product, as it requires less consumption of raw materials, without forgetting that it also requires less polluting production and distribution. In fact, you can find eco-designed products that use less polluting raw materials than those derived from oil.
Therefore, ecodesign seeks to offer quality products, allowing the reuse of resources and generating the least possible waste. In this way, the products are integrated into the so-called circular economy, being able to rejoin the economic circuit after their useful life.
But what are the defining features of a product created in accordance with the canons of ecodesign?
First of all, when having an ecological product design, it will be essential to take into account the consumption of raw materials. For this, the product must require a lower consumption of both raw materials and energy, without forgetting polluting emissions and, especially, those of carbon dioxide.
We said that, for a product to be part of the circular economy, it must be recyclable. Thus, the materials used in its production must be reusable, taking into account that the product can also be easily disassembled. In the materials used section, it should also be emphasized that it will be of great importance that the product is biodegradable.
A fundamental aspect is the life cycle of the product. In this effort to make the most of the available resources, it is essential that it is a product with a long useful life.
Another feature to consider is versatility. Above all, ecodesign also involves the creation of practical products. In other words, it is about obtaining products that can be recycled but also have various functions in meeting human needs.
In conclusion, ecodesign allows to obtain products manufactured efficiently, innovative and allowing the sustainable development of the planet. In fact, we find more and more ecodesign products in our daily lives. Along these lines, it is worth mentioning the eco-design packaging of beverages, the recycled plastic used for credit cards or the design of urban furniture with recycled materials. Even the world of fashion has made the leap to ecodesign.
How can ecodesign improve society?
Now, does ecodesign exclusively provide environmental benefits? How does it affect the economy? Does it really bring advantages to companies and society?
Ecodesign not only seeks the preservation of the environment and a more efficient and reasonable use of resources. It can also benefit both businesses and consumers financially. Thus, companies will use fewer raw materials in their production processes, as well as their energy consumption will be reduced. All this translates into lower production costs.
As for users or consumers, they will have longer-lasting products, which they will be able to use for a longer time and which will have lower energy consumption.
It can be concluded that the production of “eco-designed” products provides a more efficient use of resources, reduces the environmental effects of economic activity and reduces the costs of production and repair of the environment.