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Should consumers have the ‘right to repair’?

New legislation looks set to force manufacturers to make items easier to repair and longer lasting

Should consumers have the ‘right to repair’?

Should consumers have the ‘right to repair’?

We’re strong believers that as a society we should repair more rather than simply throwing away and replacing. But often manufacturers of household products make it difficult, pushing us to buy new instead.

Not only does this reduce the lifetime of products and cost the consumer more, but it also has a significant environmental impact.

New legislation is set to change the status quo

Over many years environmental campaigners have put pressure on manufacturers to make their items more repairable. Now governments are taking up the mantle and the EU is paving the way with new legislation to enshrine the ‘Right to Repair’ into law, forcing manufacturers to make items easier to fix and longer lasting.

The new legislation focuses primarily on electronic goods and appliances but the same holds true for all household products.

Most of us can probably relate to having an appliance stop working just after the warranty expires. One study showed that over an 8-year period, from 2004 to 2012, the proportion of major household appliances dying within 5 years of purchase rose from 3.5% to 8.3%, while another demonstrated that 10% of junk washing machine within a recycling centre were under 5 years old.

Championing repair over replacement

At Plastic Surgeon, our ethos is very much on repair over replacement and we’re continually expanding our repair portfolio to help consumers repair even more within their home. With that in mind, it’s great to see a repair-first approach being endorsed and a light shone on profligacy when it comes to waste products.

As a business, we track the impact of our repairs and we’re extremely proud of our landfill savings. In 2018 alone our repairs stopped 3,783 tonnes of waste heading to landfill; the equivalent of 299 double decker buses.

If, as a society, we’re to make headway against unnecessary waste, then we need to make a concerted effort across all fronts. By championing repair over replacement, and making it the go to method of conservation in all walks of life – we’ll be going someway to helping to preserve our wider environment.

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