The global movement to make electronic products easier to repair won this week, thanks to a new law that took effect in the EU. Starting Monday, manufacturers of washing machines, televisions and other electronic products must ensure that their products can be easily disassembled for repair. They also have to make replacement parts available for at least seven years after the models are discontinued.
The law does not meet what some activists expected. However, it is positive news for consumers, who will be able to repair old items instead of having to shell out for new ones. And since the average European is estimated to produce around 16kg of e-waste per year, the law is also potentially an advantage for the environment.
“This not only provides a precedent for additional product categories to be included in the future, but other regions are now likely to be inspired to enact similar legislation.” saying Ugo Vallauri, co-founder of the Restart Project, a UK social enterprise that teaches people how to repair electronic devices.
Illustration: Steve Wilson