Last year the UK government introduced the ‘Right to Repair’ law, designed to tackle “built-in obsolescence” (where appliances are designed to fail after a certain period). The aim of the new rules is to extend the lifespan of products by up to 10 years and reduce the estimated 2 million tonnes of WEEE (waste electrical and electronics equipment) discarded in the UK each year. Businesses were given 2 years to comply with the new regulations, which includes making spare parts available to customers and repair firms.
If we are going to meet our net zero goals much needs to change in the way we build, repair & recycle appliances and electronic equipment. The ‘Right to Repair’ is a significant step in the right direction and will encourage companies to develop new products that can more easily be maintained, shifting the focus to include more repair services and delivering long term value to customers.
Perhaps we will soon see a ‘repairability’ rating alongside the energy efficiency labels on large household appliances, helping customers make better choices. The rise in Tool libraries, repair cafes and other community led projects shows there are a growing number of us who do dare to repair.
For an in depth look at the issues check out this podcast: www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m000vgh9