EU grants citizens the ‘right to repair’ for a greener future

right to repair

After years of debate, the EU and Parliament agreed to give citizens the ‘right to repair’ their electronics. This covers white goods, tablets, computers, phones, and anything with a ‘plug’. Repairs should be easier, making products last longer and shrinking the huge e-waste pile. The Netherlands alone produces 50 million kilos of e-waste every year. It’s sorted, detoxified, reused, or dumped. But is this enough?

This addresses the issue of frequent product disposal when consumers have no other option than to buy new, harming both the environment and your wallet. The Commission expects consumers to save €12 billion yearly with this directive, with the new law forcing sellers to fix devices on warranty if customers demand. Repairs must be prompt, reasonable, and offer a loaner device if needed and products earn an extra year of warranty after repair. Additionally, manufacturers must provide parts, tools, and information for self-repair or repair shops.

Some challenges persist as for instance, the new rules omit a fair price for parts and tools. And you often have to attach serial numbers to a device for it to operate smoothly after repair. This makes you buy original components (if any) and register them with the maker. The EU Parliament and Council will likely adopt the law soon and will debate over it in April. The directive sets an aim for each EU country to implement laws for it and they have two years to do it after the directive begins.


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