A new proposal released by the European Commission is calling for people to stop switching their phones every year or two. Instead, the Commission intends to require manufacturers to provide devices that will last longer, as well as more available options to repair them.
The proposal joins a series of ‘right to repair’ regulations that focus on ways to extend the life of appliances. It will apply from 2021, and will require manufacturers of laptops, tablets and phones to manufacture them to be more durable, repairable and upgradeable, and contain more recycled materials. In addition, the companies will be required to provide spare parts and repair services for the device for a significant amount of time. The exact details have yet to be determined, but a previous law in this style talked about providing replacement parts and repairs for a decade for each device.
According to the Commission, laws that encourage longer-lived animal products will not only save consumers the frequent replacement of new products, but will significantly contribute to reducing carbon dioxide emissions in Europe by 2050. A similar law for household appliances, such as washing machines, refrigerators, televisions and desktops, has already been passed. Last year and expected to take effect next year. A separate law applying strict regulations on kettles and toasters was shelved in 2016 following public criticism.