The Right to Repair

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The European Parliament passed a bill this month that will give consumers in the bloc the right to have their old products repaired by manufacturers even after the expiration of the warranty, a move aimed at reducing waste and making goods last longer, Al Jazeera reported.

Under the new rules, manufacturers will be obliged to offer repairs for various electronics and house appliances, such as televisions, fridges and washing machines, as well as other goods considered “repairable” under EU law and sold within the bloc.

EU consumers will be able to choose whether to repair or replace their failing products while they are still under warranty. That warranty will then be extended by 12 months if the product is repaired.

If the warranty has lapsed, customers retain the option to request a repair either free of charge or at a “reasonable price” – defined by factoring in expenses for both spare parts and labor while ensuring that opting for a repair remains an attractive alternative to discarding the product.

The new rules also ban manufacturers from installing software or hardware that hinders repairs and empower EU nations to impose penalties for noncompliance.

Although the law still needs approval from bloc nations, lawmakers have hailed it as “a significant achievement … to empower consumers in the fight against climate change.”

The EU executive body has found that around 38 million tons of waste and more than 280 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions are generated annually because of still-usable consumer goods being discarded.

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