Breaking your washing machine or coffee maker should no longer mean the need to buy a new appliance in the EU. The European Parliament and the Council (States) have reached a provisional agreement, yet to be approved by both parties, on the “right to repair”, a regulation that will provide for the repair of broken or defective devices in order to promote a more circular economy. Will provide facility. .Ecology and…
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Breaking your washing machine or coffee maker should no longer mean the need to buy a new appliance in the EU. The European Parliament and the Council (States) have reached a provisional agreement, yet to be approved by both parties, on the “right to repair”, a regulation that will provide for the repair of broken or defective devices in order to promote a more circular economy. Will provide facility. .ecological and, at the same time, allows significant savings.
With this agreement, “Europe is clearly committed to repairing rather than throwing away,” said Alexia Bertrand, Belgium’s secretary of state for budget and consumer protection, whose country holds the rotating presidency of the EU Council this semester. For the European Parliament’s chief negotiator of the norm, German Social Democrat René Repassi, with the agreement reached during the night from Thursday to Friday, “it will be easier and cheaper to repair products than to buy expensive products again.” Additionally, “it will create good quality jobs, reduce waste, limit our dependence on critical foreign materials and protect our environment,” Bertrand said.
The Council emphasizes that the provisional agreement preserves the consumer’s right to choose between repair and replacement when a product breaks or is defective and is still under warranty. But it prioritizes the former, for which it offers a series of incentives to encourage consumers to extend the life of their devices. Something that not only reduces waste, but also “boosts the repair sector and promotes more sustainable business models,” the negotiators congratulate themselves.
When the Commission presented the proposal last year, the Commission highlighted that, every year, 35 million tonnes of equipment that could be repaired is thrown away in the EU alone. Something that has serious environmental consequences: this waste produces 261 million tons of “unnecessary” greenhouse gases per year. This waste is also economic: according to Brussels, consumers lose up to 12 billion euros every year by buying new devices instead of repairing broken ones.
“Our current consumption model is, simply put, unsustainable,” MEP Repassi underlines in this regard. “With the new legislation, we will force Member States to offer financial incentives to citizens to choose to repair earlier, resulting in savings in greenhouse gas emissions, resources and waste,” he said.
The Directive provides for the possibility that consumers can claim from manufacturers the repair of products that are technically repairable under EU standards, such as washing machines, vacuum cleaners, refrigerators or mobile phones. And the possibility remains open that, in the future, the Commission will add new products to the initial list.
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The manufacturer should inform about spare parts on its website and ensure that they are available at a “reasonable price”. The directive also bans practices that “prevent the use of second-hand or 3D printed spare parts by independent repair points.”
Additionally, the manufacturer must make the necessary repairs within a “reasonable time” and, unless the service is free, at a “reasonable price.” If the consumer chooses to get the product repaired rather than replaced, his warranty will be extended for a minimum of 12 months from the moment the product is repaired, a period that states can extend if desired.
The agreement also includes the creation of a “European Information Form” that will be free and in which repairers provide clear information about the status of repairs, the time for completion of their work, prices or replacement products. Finally, the agreement also provides for the creation of a “European online repair platform” that informs consumers in the 27 states about the repair services available at European level and in each country and internationally.
This directive seeks to harmonize different measures already adopted in some countries at European level. For example, in France, the so-called “repair index” came into force in 2021, a label that must be placed near the price of the device and with a score from 0 to 10, indicating whether the product is “repairable”. .” “barely repairable” or, more simply, “irreparable”. The same year, in Spain, the Ministry of Consumer Affairs reported that it was also working on the creation of a repairability index, which would, according to various variables There is a classification of household appliances and electronic equipment, such as availability of replacement parts or ease of disassembly. However, the legislature was exhausted and the then minister, Alberto Garzón, was not able to approve it. Social rights, consumption and agenda The new Minister of 2030, Pablo Bastindeu, has expressed his intention to return to the issue, although there is currently no date for its implementation. Miguel Angel Medina reports,
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(Tags to translate)Environment(T)Society(T)Climate emergency(T)Home appliances(T)Planned obsolescence(T)European Union(T)European Commission(T)European Parliament