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‘Right to repair’ set to revolutionise manufacturing

Growing public support for longer-lasting products designed for disassembly and repair has resulted in the EU taking steps to legally enact a ‘Right to Repair’ for a range of everyday products.

Growing public support for longer-lasting products designed for disassembly and repair has resulted in the EU taking steps to legally enact a ‘Right to Repair’ for a range of everyday products.

European leaders have agreed to introduce an upgraded EU Ecodesign Directive, which would include minimum resource efficiency requirements for household consumer products for the first time.

The rules will apply to a range everyday products, including lighting, display screens and large household appliances from April 2021, but could be extended to other sectors in future.

For example, manufacturers will have to ensure that critical parts of products can be disassembled and repaired by external professionals, rather than being glued or welded together. Producers will also have to make spare parts and repair manuals available to professional repairers.

The European Parliament is due to formally approve the new legislation in March 2019, coinciding with the UK’s planned withdrawal from the EU. However, UK government is understood to be supportive of the move and will likely take similar measures after Brexit to encourage manufacturers to design products that last longer.

Chloe Fayole of ECOS, the European Environmental Citizens Organisation for Standardisation, said:

“The agreement is a step in the right direction. From the US to Europe, people are demanding their right to repair the things they own because they’re tired of products that are designed to break prematurely. Enabling consumers to repair and reuse all electronic products is just common sense.”

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