EU proposes ‘right to repair’ legislation to curb e-waste

Hemani Sheth Mumbai | Updated on March 12, 2020


The European Commission has proposed ‘right to repair’ legislation for electronic gadgets such as mobile phones, tablets and laptops in a bid to curb e-waste.

The move is to restrict single-use products and counter the early obsolescence of products to enhance sustainability. The proposal is part of the EU’s circular economy action plan of carbon neutrality by 2050.

“Commission will propose a revision of EU consumer law to ensure that consumers receive trustworthy and relevant information on products at the point of sale, including on their lifespan and on the availability of repair services, spare parts and repair manuals. The Commission will also consider further strengthening consumer protection against green washing and premature obsolescence, setting minimum requirements for sustainability labels/logos and for information tools,” reads the action plan.

“The Commission will work towards establishing a new ‘right to repair’ and consider new horizontal material rights for consumers for instance as regards availability of spare parts or access to repair and, in the case of ICT and electronics, to upgrading services,” it further reads.

EU lawmakers will also be proposing regulations regarding electronics and ICT, batteries and vehicles, packaging, plastics etc, as part of the plan.

Earlier this year, another one of EU lawmaker’s proposal related to electronic gadgets had stirred controversy across the world. EU had proposed to pass legislation that mandates smartphone manufacturers to adopt a shared charging cable standard.

The proposal had garnered mixed responses from people across the globe. India Inc’s Anand Mahindra, Chairman, Mahindra Group had also weighed in on the proposal.

Responding to a World Economic Forum (WEF) video report shared by Twitter user Erik Solheim (@ErikSolheim), Mahindra said, “This seems like such a trivial issue but frankly a big deal for those who have to carry multiple chargers if you have more than one device. This is a breathtakingly simple proposal made more urgent due to the sword of electronic waste hanging over us.”

According to the WEF report, every year, the EU generates 12.3 million tonnes of electronic waste.

Published on March 12, 2020

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