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New Legislation Ensures Right to Repair... But Does It Go Far Enough?

Sun Jul 04 2021

UK Government aims to reduce the 1.5 million tonnes of electrical waste produced each year. 

In a leap forward for device empowerment, the UK government has introduced a new set of rules for white goods manufacturers to ensure the longevity of machines.

Last week we talked about a landmark bill in the US that aims to empower consumers and allow them true ownership over their devices. As of 1st July 2021, a new law has come into force in the UK which gives British consumers the ‘right to repair’.

The sting in the tail though is that the law does not cover laptops and smartphones.

However, the ‘built-in obsolescence’ of electronics such as white goods – your washing machines and dishwashers etc, will be tackled directly as manufacturers will now be required to make spare parts of their products available to both consumers and third-party repair firms.

This comes after the growing concern that these electronics were being purposefully built to only last a couple of years and with no access to spare parts to repair and extend the life of the machines, consumers are forced to buy a whole new product.  

The government expects the new lifespan of products to be extended by 10 years. Not only good for your wallet, but the environment will welcome the change too, as the rule will reduce about 1.5 million tonnes of electrical waste generated each year in the UK.

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Too often electrical items end up in landfill because they are either too costly or difficult to fix, so these new rules requiring manufacturers to make spare parts more widely available are a step in the right direction and should ensure products last longer and help reduce electrical waste

Adam French - Senior Consumer Rights Editor, Which?

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The nitty gritty of the law enforces new rules to manufacturers to ensure that spare parts for their products are available for at least 7 – 10 years (depending on the part), even after the discontinuation of the product.

Microwaves, cookers, tumble dryers and hobs are also not covered under the new law.

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© cloudThing 2021

Sun Jul 04 2021

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