France To Introduce Repairability Scores For Gadgets From January 2021

Fairphone 3 modules on display

By Mayukh Saha / Truth Theory

The Parliament of the European Union has been intending to boost the notion of sustainability. Therefore, the idea of repairable electronics has been grabbing attention for quite some time. To spread this idea everywhere, the government has been promoting reusing, recycling, and repairing electronic devices. This includes gadgets such as tablets, laptops, and cell phones. Several innovative ways are being implemented to tackle the issues that reduce the lifespan of these electronic products. 

France has issued an official statement that will start rolling out the tag of repairability for electronic devices from 2021 January itself. Consequently, several other European nations are also considering the idea of repairability of electronics and following the example set by France. 


Concept of Repairable Electronics Going Viral 

France has passed the resolution to opt for a more ecologically sufficient Single Market on 25th November. This measure of repairability was adopted with 395 to 94 votes along with 207 no votes. Read the full text from the European Parliament here: European Parliament Report

This indicates that Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) are calling upon the European Commission to authorize consumers the ‘right to repair’. Several US states have passed the law of ‘right to repair’. This authorization will provide the consumers to repair in a more systematic, attractive, and cost-efficient manner. Repairing electronics can be done by giving a guarantee to replace parts. Information about repair as well as maintenance will also be provided. 

This measure represents an insistence on behalf of the MEPs for the increase in the support for second-hand products markets, promote sustainable production promote repairable electronics. and call for methods to deal with practices that reduce the lifespan of products.

The MEPs have released a public statement in which they have emphasized the prerequisite for a common system of charging that will help in the reduction of e-waste which is extremely toxic and harmful for nature. They also demanded that products must be labeled in accordance with their durability that will specify the usage meter. It should also provide information regarding the expected lifetime of the product.

Stringent Measures Employed For ‘Right to Repair’

In a recent survey, it is evident that 77% of European citizens prefer to repair electronics than to replace them. Seventy-nine percent of EU citizens believe that manufacturers must be legally accountable for the facilitation of repairable electronics. Damaged individual parts must also be replaced.

To encourage supportable business enterprise and consumer choices, the MEPs have stated that they are demanding a more sustainable way of procurement by the public and a responsible way of advertising and marketing. For example, the advertisement claims of environmentally friendly products also resort to a common condition that will support such claims.  To apply for an ecolabel certificate, the fulfillment of these criteria is necessary.

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The EU needs to attain and enhance the ecolabel before doling out the resolution to other industries.  Consumers need to be made aware of the conditions and consequences that will encourage them to opt for repairable electronics.

The advisory note suggests new rules for a better waste management system and the eradication of legal issues that prevent reuse, resale, and repair of electronics. This is sure to benefit the secondary market of raw materials. This will prove to be a starting point for the European Commission to assign real proposals for the ‘right to repair’ movement based upon this report.


Movement For Modular And Customized Smartphone

The industry of phones is focused on innovation and an insatiable hunger for newer models, resulting in a practice of ‘use and throw’. This behavior has an enormous negative impact. The study shows that the count of sales of new phones is over 1.4 billion each year. In addition to a huge strain on the natural resources, it also creates an adverse working condition for workers and the entire supply chain.

Fairphone is an independent organization with a B-Corp certification owing to its extensive and impressive dedication towards environmental and social issues. This enterprise designs phones and mobile accessories that include longevity and a straightforward way to repair, in cases of damage. This is a venture dealing with repairable electronics inspiring many others.

Fairphone is a movement that has introduced an ethical model based on repairing electronics. They achieved this by not launching new models of phones which would make the previous ones obsolete. Rather, they improved the present models on a modular basis. Fairphone also upgrades their camera and reduces the use of plastic by recycling plastics. This movement will ensure a fairer future for everybody.

The trend of changing phones frequently comes with its own harmful effects on humans and nature, both. Phonebloks have produced an advanced concept of a customizable system that is long-lasting.

A modular phone is made available whereby consumers can obtain new parts on the Phonebloks platform. The members of this app store of hardware can purchase bloks, sell parts, and read reviews on repairable electronics.

Although Google showed an interest in the project of repairing electronics, they killed it due to their desire of promoting more recent software projects. Phonebloks is a step further in achieving the lessening of e-waste and increasing repairability.

Image Credit: PKFP & Fairphone

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