Posted 9th January

‘Right to Repair’ legislation for appliances takes step forward

9th January 2019 - 12:35pm
kitchen, fridge, eu, law, legislation, environment, repair, right to repair, consumer, europe, britain, fridge, freezer, appliance, kbb, kbbdaily

EU governments have made progress regarding consumers’ ‘right to repair’ for large home appliances by supporting “first-ever repairability measures for fridges despite opposition from manufacturers and hesitation from the European Commission”, according to the European Environmental Bureau – EEB.

The EEB – comprising 150 member organisations in more than 30 countries, including all EU member states – said that in December, the EU’s 28 member states agreed on new manufacturing laws to make fridges and freezers “more easily repairable and longer lasting”.

The legislation says that repairers of appliances “should be able to disassemble some critical parts without damaging the product and with the use of commonly available tools”. EU governments held a similar vote for dishwashers on the 8th January, and will hold a vote for washing machines on the 10th January, the EEB added.

The proposals by the EU member states form part of the Ecodesign Directive, which is the EU’s plan to improve the environmental performance of products such as home appliances. EU governments also agreed to make spare parts, such as door gaskets for fridges, available for a number of years, adding that only certain spare parts “will be made available exclusively to professional repairers who must meet several criteria defined at national level”.

“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,” said Chloé Fayole, senior programme manager for Ecodesign and energy label regulation at European Environmental Citizens' Organisation for Standardisation – ECOS.

“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.”

According to the BBC, the proportion of major household appliances that failed within five years years between 2004 and 2012 rose from 3.5% to 8.3%, while an analysis of dumped washing machines at a recycling centre showed that more than 10% were less than five years old.


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