Fight against electronic waste: EU wants to extend the right to repair

Repair instead of throwing it away. Because of the huge amount of electronic waste, the EU is now calling for extended repair rights for mobile devices

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Author: July Becker

  • EU: Right to repair should also apply to cell phones, laptops and tablets
  • After standardizing charging cables, another step towards avoiding electronic waste
  • Germans produce around 22 kg of electronic waste per capita annually

Who be Smartphone, want to repair the laptop or tablet instead of replacing it, has usually had to do without it in the past. Often it is elektronische Repairing a broken device is very complex and expensive, sometimes not even possible because there are no longer any spare parts for older models.

Right to repair: provision of spare parts and repair information

That should change now. According to the will of the EU Commission, the right to repairs, which was introduced last year, should now also apply to cell phones, laptops and tablets. So far it only referred to Washing Machines, Dishwashers, refrigerators and lighting.

Manufacturers must provide replacement parts and repair information for these devices. The repair should also be possible with normal tools without causing damage. These requirements will be mandatory for all manufacturers and importers of electronic items from March 2021.

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Uniform charging cables - a step in the right direction

The often short-lived components of cell phones, laptops and tablets should now be just as easy to replace as parts of washing machines and the like, according to the EU's wishes. Every device of every brand should be chargeable through the same connection.

So Apple, Samsung and Co. are in debt. The EU Commission will work out the exact regulations for manufacturers by the end of July. There are also new requirements for packaging. For example, a ban is to apply to "excessively expensive" product wrappings.

Every German produces 23 kilograms of electronic waste a year

Germans produce about per capita and year 22 kilograms of electronic waste, but only 45 percent of them are properly disposed of. Worldwide there are a total of 40 million tonnes of old devices per year and, according to Greenpeace, far less is recycled globally at 25%. The improper portion will probably be sold illegally, a billion dollar business with secondary raw materials.

It is therefore essential that goods are produced more sustainably, used longer and then recycled, according to the EU. The extension of the right to repair must now be endorsed by the Member States of the European Union and the European Parliament before it comes into force.

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