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Published on December 14th, 2018 | by The GC Team


EU says appliances WILL be made easier to repair

The EU’s 28 Member States have agreed on a new set of manufacturing laws to make fridges and freezers more easily repairable and longer lasting, despite opposition from manufacturers and hesitation from the European Commission.

The vote was the first of its kind for Europe.

The agreed text foresees that repairers should be able to disassemble some critical parts without damaging the product and with the use of commonly available tools. Components of products are very often glued together or welded, which makes the replacement of failing parts difficult.

Governments also suggested applying a similar approach to other products such as washing machines and dishwashers, and non-governmental organisations also called for the rules to be extended to lighting and displays, which will be discussed next week, and to all products in the future. 

Chloe Fayole of ECOS, a non-profit organisation working to promote environmental aspects in the development of standards and specifications at European and international level, said: “EU governments refused to cave in to pressure and restored ambitious proposals to boost repair and reuse of white goods. This is good news for consumers and the planet.

“Now it’s urgent that Member States apply similar and even more ambitious rules to other products used by consumers in their daily lives, notably lighting appliances and televisions and monitors.

“Waste from electronics is the fastest growing waste stream in the world. Enabling consumers to repair and reuse all electronic products is a must and will help save millions of tons of natural resources and greenhouse gas emissions while saving consumers money.”

The proposals are part of the EU’s plans to reduce the environmental impacts of products (Ecodesign Directive).

Over the last twenty years, Ecodesign policies have largely focused on energy efficiency, improving domestic and industrial products by making them perform better with less energy.

Policy-makers are now trying to take it a step further to make sure that products also last longer and are easier to repair and recycle.

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