Berlin – Companies selling refrigerators, washing machines, hair dryers, or televisions in the European Union will be able to repair these appliances for up to 10 years to reduce the vast amount of e-waste that accumulates on the continent each year. Must be.
The “right to repair”, as it is sometimes called, takes effect across blocks in 27 countries on Monday. This is part of a broader effort to reduce the environmental footprint of manufactured products by increasing their durability and energy efficiency.
“This is a really big step in the right direction,” said Daniel Affelt of the environmental group BUND-Berlin. The group runs several “repair cafes” where you can bring in broken appliances and help them repair them.
He said modern appliances are often glued or riveted. “If you need specialized tools, or if you need to break and open your device, we can’t repair it.”
The lack of spare parts is another issue, campaigners say. One broken tooth on a small plastic sprocket can throw a proverbial wrench into the piece.
“People want to repair their appliances,” Affelt said. “Telling them that they don’t have spare parts for the device just a few years ago, they’re obviously really frustrated by it.”
Under the new EU regulations, manufacturers need to ensure that parts are available for up to 10 years, but some are only offered to professional repair companies to ensure they are installed correctly. I will.
Also, new devices come with repair manuals that need to be created so that they can be disassembled using traditional tools when they can no longer be repaired to improve recycling.
Each year, Europeans produce over 16 kilograms (35 pounds) of electronic waste per person. About half of that junk comes from broken appliances, and the EU only recycles about 40% of it, leaving behind large amounts of potentially dangerous substances.
In the next step, German Environment Minister Svenja Schulze stated that manufacturers would expect the product to function for how long and that it would need to be repaired if the product failed prematurely. She said this would encourage companies to make more durable products.
“At repair cafes, there are a lot of devices that broke shortly after the warranty expired,” Affelt said. This is a phenomenon in which some environmentalists blame manufacturers for designing devices with planned obsolescence.
Knowing that the appliance really lasts for 10 years, he said, consumers may choose more durable or easily repairable products.
“For the vast majority of devices, repairs are the right choice,” Affelt said, adding that the exception may be old and inefficient refrigerators that may contain powerful greenhouse gases that promote climate change. It was.
In the next step, environmentalists and consumer rights groups want to expand their “right to repair” to include smartphones, laptops and other small appliances.
In response to growing demand, Apple announced last year that it would begin offering training and spare parts to authorized independent repair shops that repair Mac computers as well as iPhones.
The right to repair the bill has been introduced in several US state legislatures and has gained bipartisan support, but no national action has yet been taken.
Sweden is more advanced than most of the EU, and repairs and spare parts are subject to low VAT.
The Block’s Ecological Design Directive, which is part of the repair requirement, also amends existing energy labels that describe the amount consumed by electric washers and other household appliances. The new 7-step scale from A to G is complemented by a QR code that provides consumers with detailed information such as device volume.
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Europeans get “right to repair” some appliances
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