Revolutionising Our Throw-away Culture: The Right to Repair is here

We live in a world dominated by rapidly advancing technology. We buy a new phone and exactly two years later it breaks, a relentless cycle of planned obsolescence. This is where the Right to Repair legislation  comes in to change this. The right to repair is not just going to be about fixing our gadgets. The new legislation is a revolutionary call for a sustainable future. It’s the end of our throw-away culture and the basis for a flourishing European circular economy.

The Greens/EFA have been calling for a Right to Repair for a long time. Now we face a crucial vote in the European Parliament. The Greens/EFA MEP Anna Cavazzini explains why the Right to Repair is a win for people and the planet.

What is the Right to Repair and who will benefit from it? 

The Right to Repair is a revolutionary concept, which grants consumers and independent repair professionals the ability to repair and modify the products they own. It also ensures that manufacturers provide access to necessary tools, documentation, and spare parts, allowing individuals to fix or maintain their devices rather than being forced into costly replacements. 

The Right to Repair will benefit:

  1. Consumers: The Right to Repair will help consumers to save hundreds of euros and empower them to have greater control over the lifespan of their products.
  2. The planet: The Right to Repair will cut millions of tonnes of CO2 emissions (See the EEB’s 2019 report Coolproducts don’t cost the earth), reduce loss of precious resources and biodiversity, and prevent environmental degradation – It provides you with transparency through reliable information.
  3. And Businesses: The Right to Repair will increase consumer protection and confidence in products and markets, ultimately leading to sustainable consumption and fair competition among businesses. Repair shops become the heroes of this story. They get more business, and you get more options for fixing your stuff.

As the Greens/EFA in the European Parliament we  recognize the urgent need for a Universal Right to Repair. The impending vote in the European Parliament is not just a decision; it’s a pivotal moment in the journey toward a circular economy. 

Picture this: You buy a shiny new device, only to watch it become obsolete within a blink. The Right to Repair legislation isn’t just about giving you the freedom to fix your gadgets; it’s about handing you the power to choose repair over replacement. It’s about breaking the cycle of forced obsolescence, reducing electronic waste, and steering us towards a circular economy that benefits both consumers and the planet. 

What will the Right to Repair do for economy and innovation? 

This legislation isn’t a war on businesses; it’s a call for industries to evolve. By granting consumers access to manuals, spare parts, and repair services, we’re not just fixing our devices; we’re fixing our planet. The Right to Repair fosters innovation, encourages the development of durable products, and opens doors for local repair businesses. It’s an economic boost with a green twist. 

The Urgent Need for Fair Pricing Repair costs should be reasonable, but they shouldn’t promote a throw-away culture. Fair pricing for repairs means transparent costs for parts, labour, and services. Tech repairs for reasonable prices also means holding manufacturers accountable, making them disclose the true cost of repairs, and putting an end to anticompetitive practices that artificially inflate repair prices. It’s about ensuring that consumers have access to the tools they need without being forced into expensive replacements. 

More sustainable repairs, more responsibility for the economy

As the Greens/EFA in the European Parliament, it’s our responsibility to champion legislation that puts pressure on the economy to produce products that last. The Right to Repair legislation embodies these principles, offering a crucial step towards a better, more sustainable future for all. It’s not a luxury; it’s a necessity—an opportunity to empower consumers, promote sustainable practices, and reduce the environmental footprint of our throwaway culture. 

So what will the Right to Repair change for you?

Big news alert! 🚨 Let’s break down the game-changing measures that are about to make your life a lot easier:

  1. Say Hello to Repair Superpowers! Ever felt stuck with a broken gadget? No worries! You’ve now got the power to demand repairs, even beyond the usual warranty. Sellers must now offer fixes unless it’s crazily expensive compared to a shiny new replacement.
  2. Shout Out to Producers! Got a wonky washing machine or a quirky TV? You can now tag the producer for help. If your gadget is technically fixable under EU law, they’re on the hook to sort it out. It’s like having a superhero hotline for your appliances!
  3. Repair, Your Way: You’re not tied down – pick the provider you trust, promoting independent repair and giving a thumbs-up to self-repair. It’s all about putting the power back in your hands!
  4. Transparency is the New Cool: No more shady repair dealings. Producers are now obligated to spill the beans on which products they should be fixing. Plus, you can demand a Repair Information Form from any fixer-upper, revealing all the deets on conditions and costs.
  5. Affordability Makeover:  Get ready for a budget-friendly repair extravaganza! You will be able to demand that producers make spare parts available at a fair price, matching the lifespan of your product. No more hunting for parts like a detective, and forget about those sky-high costs. You can now find original part prices easily, and you’re free to use compatible, salvaged, or even 3D printed parts without sacrificing functionality. Saving money while fixing – that’s a win!
  6. Bye-Bye to Anti-Repair Shenanigans:  No more sneaky tactics to keep you from fixing stuff! The law slams the door on any tricks – contractual, hardware, or software – that producers use to stop you from repairing. It’s a win for your right to repair, making it easier and more accessible. Say hello to a world where fixing things is a breeze, without unnecessary technical roadblocks.
  7. Find your repair squad: Enter the Repair Matchmaking world! An online platform will hook you up with the perfect match for your repair needs. Location? Check. Quality standards? Double-check. Finding the best deals and giving a shout out to local heroes who can fix your stuff – it’s a win-win! Picture this: You, strolling through your neighbourhood, knowing exactly where to go for a fix or to pick up something cool and pre-loved!
  8. Quality Control for Fixes: Not all heroes wear capes; some wield wrenches! Repairers across the EU can now earn a badge of honour with a European Quality Standard. It’s like a seal of approval for top-notch repairs. Look out for the “Easy Repair” stamp – your guarantee for hassle-free fixes!

The Right to Repair legislation is a big win that we, Greens/EFA in the European Parliament, fought very hard for. The EU Right to Repair will shape the way we treat tech devices for generations to come. We can finally break free from the chains of a disposable society. We can finally embrace a future where repair isn’t just a choice; it’s a right.

Let’s seize this moment.– the future is all about fixing, not tossing! Get ready to rock your repaired gadgets and join the movement for a sustainable, savvy lifestyle. Your right to repair is now officially reality!