The global movement to make electronic goods easier to repair scored a victory this week, thanks to a new law that came into effect in the EU. As of Monday, makers of washing machines, televisions and other electronic goods must ensure their products can be easily disassembled for repair. They also have to make spare parts available for at least seven years after models are discontinued.
The law falls short of what some campaigners had hoped for. Nevertheless, it is positive news for consumers, who will be able to have old items fixed rather than having to fork out for brand new ones. And with the average European estimated to produce around 16kg of e-waste per year, the law is also potentially a win for the environment.
“Not only does this provide a precedent for additional product categories to be included in future, but it’s likely other regions will now be inspired to enact similar legislation,” said Ugo Vallauri, co-founder of the Restart Project, a UK social enterprise that teaches people to repair electronics.
Illustration: Steve Wilson