It’s frustrating when appliances and devices fail too soon and can’t be repaired. It happens too often, don’t you think?
It wasn’t always like this – over decades, manufacturers have systematically designed repairability out of products. It’s in their interests to make it easier and cheaper for us to replace and upgrade. It’s easy profit for manufacturers and retailers.
Needlessly throwing stuff away isn’t sustainable. We need to look after what we have, maintain it well and repair it when we can. However, it’s not always easy. Maintenance and repair instructions aren’t easy to find, parts often aren’t available or cost too much, and many fixes need specialist tools or expertise.
We all need to take action
Manufacturers won’t change their behaviour through goodwill alone, so we need to force it on them. We need to convince our government to take action!
As nations meet at the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference, also known as COP26, now is the perfect time to act. And our government is currently consulting on a replacement for the Waste Minimisation Act. That’s a prime opportunity to turn a Right to Repair into law.
We want the government to:
Pass laws that require products to last longer and be easier to repair.
Take action to make repair services accessible and affordable for everyone.
Ensure consumers have access to information on product repairability and durability.
Require manufacturers to offer spare parts and repair services.
This isn’t unreasonable. It would be a big step towards the day when we stop throwing valuable resources away as e-waste.
Designing products that last longer and are easier to repair isn’t that difficult – it can be as simple as a manufacturer not gluing a battery into place, but instead making it easy to pop out and replace.