Law requirements will force phone, tablet and laptop manufacturers to make their devices easier to repair and reuse.
The European Commission aims to increase recycling and repair to lessen electronic waste by 40% in the region.
The Right to Repair will extend an eco-design law to cover said electronics. The bill also gives way for the commission to set standards to ensure changeable and repairable products.
Under the legislation, manufacturers will receive rewards once they’re able to construct more recyclable materials. Consumers can then also sell or return old phones, tablets, and chargers more easily.
Current eco-design directives focus on energy efficiency standards for larger products, such as computers, TVs, dishwashers, and washing machines. The commission now aims to expand these eco-design laws into consumer electronic devices.
More specific questions emerge: once the law is in place, can consumers eventually repair these devices themselves? Will companies have to raise prices for warranties that guarantee better repair?
The European Parliament recently voted for the eurozone to introduce a universal charger across all devices. The agency hopes for less e-waste to allow consumers to reuse existing chargers across varied devices.
It aims to follow some Asian nations’ rejections of plastic and dangerous electronic waste shipments from Europe and the US. The law would also allow a review of rules on exporting waste outside the bloc.
Waste exports led to negative environmental and health impacts to those countries, said the European Commission. Now, it wants to create a “recycled in the EU” benchmark for its materials.
Some of the measures will apply to the UK, although there’s no guarantee that the country will follow all EU standards. The bill didn’t mention the country directly, but they aim to rope trade agreements into its objectives.
The Eurozone and a Circular Economy
The Environmental European Commissioner Virginijus Sinkevicius believes that the previous tech models are extremely outdated. A circular economy should replace the linear take, make, use, discard methods, which push the eurozone into a resource crisis.
He claims that the only way ahead is to stop economies from extracting primary sources that heighten their environmental impacts.
Furthermore, the European Commission is also considering a scheme that could enable consumers to sell or return old devices.
All packaging should then be reusable or recyclable by 2030 to tackle soaring trash packaging in the area. The EU accounted for 173g trash for the average person in 2017.
A circular economy allows companies to reuse their resources for as long as possible to extract their maximum value. Once it’s done, they should recover and regenerate materials by the end of its service life.
Without this law, the European Commission might not meet its zero-emissions target by 2050.
The movement is part of the European Green Deal, which aims to transform the bloc into a low-carbon economy. Once accomplished, the Deal improves people’s quality of life through a cleaner environment and health.
Starting with the Right for Repair movement, the European Commission aims to cut emissions down 50%-55% by 2030. These include incentives to encourage private sector investment and goals to halt species loss, cutting waste, and reusing natural resources.
All budgets will go to ensuring it gets spent in ways that help the environment, like agricultural and farming laws.