Gadgets

New EU Law: Companies Should Make Gadgets Fixable, With Spare Parts For 10 Years

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Tech companies that plan on selling consumer electronics like television, air conditioners, refrigerators etc in the European Union will now be required to make arrangements in order to help it get repaired for up to a decade.

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Reported first by AP, this is after the passing of new legislation in the European Parliament which voted in favour of establishing stringent ‘right to repair’ rules in order to reduce electrical waste and their impact on the environment.

Daniel Affelt, from the environmental group BUND-Berlin, said in a statement, “This is a really big step in the right direction.” He expressed how modern tech gadgets are developed in a way that makes them irreparable as most of them are either glued shut or riveted and after opening it, there is no way one can close it appropriately. Affelt claims, “If you need specialist tools or have to break open the device, then you can’t repair it.”

Another issue several people face is the lack of availability of spare parts, where at times, the breaking of a small part results in the whole appliance being non-functional

The new EU rules stipulate that manufacturers will need to ensure that spare parts for all the products they plan on selling in the EU and the UK will have to be made available for 10 years post the launch of the particular product. 

The EU ‘Right To Repair’ law, however, mentions that some parts can only be provided to professional/expert repairmen to make sure they’re appropriately and safely installed.

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They also ask for new devices to come with repair manuals while also making sure that the design should be in a way that owners of the gadgets should be able to dismantle and separate parts for recycling, in case the device is damaged beyond repair.

Every year, a person in the EU produces 16 kilograms of electronic waste, with most of the junk amounting to broken household appliances that they cannot fix. The EU only recycles 40 percent of it, with heaps of e-waste left in dumping ground, along with large amounts of hazardous waste. 

German Environment Minister Svenja Schulze also highlights that the next step should involve manufacturers revealing how long the product developed by them would last, while also offering to repair it should it stop functioning before that. This according to Schulze could motivate manufacturers to make better, more durable products. 

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As of now the right to repair is only restricted to electronic appliances. However, soon they want this to be expanded towards smartphones, laptops and other small electronics. 



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