Easy product repair
What’s the problem?
Consumer goods are now less durable and repairable than in the past. RREUSE has investigated the increasing difficulties associated with attempting to repair modern electronic equipment including:
- Lack of access to and high costs of spare parts: costs of repair are higher than purchasing a new appliance
- Lack of appropriate repair information: no free access to service manuals, software and hardware of product and components
- Product design and components without re-use potential: new designs make it increasingly difficult to repair a product or components without breaking it.
Not only is this a serious environment issue, not being able to repair an appliance also puts at risk the economic viability of re-use and repair organisations.
RREUSE promotes more durable and reparable products by:
- Advocating policies to make repair and re-use activities more competitive in order to provide more repair choices for consumers
- Influencing product policy by including provisions with repair-friendly criteria including:
- Durable and easy to repair product design
- Spare parts availability must be guaranteed for longer periods
- Free access to repair service documentation and software for all re-use and repair centres
Promoting ease of repair criteria extends the lifetime of a product and reduces the need to purchase a new one, saving on the energy and resources that go into production.
EU policy agenda
In 2015 the European Commission is set to announce how it intends to revise both the EU Ecodesign and Energy Labelling Directives. In addition, there are ongoing revisions to individual Ecodesign regulations for different product categories including domestic washing machines, fridges and dishwashers. These initiatives have tended to focus on the energy efficiency of new products, but their scope should be broader. These rules are a great opportunity to include repair-friendly criteria that could set a precedent for other products.