March 12, 2020 report
'Right to repair' rules for electronics included in EU's Circular Economy Action Plan
The European Commission, a group, appointed by governments of the European Union, has adopted what it calls the Circular Economy Action Plan as part of an effort to achieve climate neutrality by 2050. Included among the measures are "right to repair" rules for electronic devices.
The European Union has been aggressively pushing for more controls on manufacturers because of what has been described as a throwaway culture in which companies make products that are used once and discarded, or design products with "premature obsolescence." To that end, groups within the EU have begun making recommendations such as banning corporations from selling single-use devices or products that cannot be recycled. The Circular Economy Action Plan covers a wide range of products including food, textiles batteries and vehicles, and of particular note, electronic devices such as phones, tablets and computers, The plan also covers product packaging. The group is recommending rules that force corporations in the EU to sell products that have longer lifetimes and to produce less waste.
Rules that would allow for right to repair would mean users could open their phones without worry of violating a warranty. It would also mean that they could take it to a local repair shop to have it fixed rather than rely solely on the manufacturer—again, without worry of violating a warranty. The move would likely extend the life of devices by allowing for simple repairs, such as cracked screens or dead battery replacement.
The EC is also calling for products that are more durable in the first place, so that the need for repairs will not be so common. They also want to see more reusable electronics and devices that can be upgraded rather than tossed away when they become outdated. They would also like to allow consumers more options for returning old electronics, putting the onus on those who make such devices to be more responsible for them after they are no longer usable. They note that such changes would reduce waste and the resources used to make electronic devices. The commission is also calling for device makers to provide more information about the reliability and recyclability of their products to consumers to allow them to make greener choices.
© 2020 Science X Network