EU Considers More Durable, Repairable Devices

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The European Parliament is discussing how to encourage the creation of more durable and repairable devices-- with measures including "minimum resistance criteria" and labels showing how easy devices are to repair.

Repair iphoneAccording to a 2014 Eurobarometer survey, 77% of EU consumers would rather repair goods than buy new ones. As such, MEPs are suggesting ways to tackle built-in obsolescence, which forces users to replace or discard products. For instance, companies can get incentives for making durable and repairable products, boosting repairs and 2nd hand sales. Meanwhile essential components such as batteries and LEDs should not be fixed into products, and spare parts should be available “at a price commensurate with the nature and life-time of the product.”

The Parliament is also asking the European Commission to consider a "voluntary European label" giving products a score based on durability, eco-design features, upgradeability and repairability, as well as a "usage meter" for large electrical appliances.

“We must reinstate the reparability of all products put on the market," Greens MEP Pascal Durand says. "We have to make sure that batteries are no longer glued into a product, but are screwed in so that we do not have to throw away a phone when the battery breaks down. We need to make sure that consumers are aware of how long the products last and how they can be repaired."

Such measures will be tough to implement, of course-- after all, Apple is famous for refusing to make an iPhone with a removable battery. Then again, maybe a removable battery would have allowed Samsung to avoid the explosive fiasco it faced with the Galaxy Note 7...

Go Making Consumer Products More Durable and Easier to Repair