Whether it is a TV or a washing machine there comes a time where you will be taking it down the dump when it breaks.
Usually, items are built in such a way that they are impossible to repair or the spare parts are difficult to get hold of. The environmental impact of lack of repair is huge.
Electrical waste each year is 40 million tons worldwide and is the equivalent of throwing away 800 laptops per second.
When a company makes products, they have a shelf life before they become obsolete. Eventually companies stop producing support for the product and it becomes unusable, creating waste. From an IT perspective, consumers would need to move over to an updated software if it became obsolete. Software updates can act as a ‘repair’ and extend the life of tech products by removing and fixing bugs. However, unfortunately the cost of support and maintenance can outweigh income and manufacture’s will make the decision to bring that product to the end of its life.
Thankfully, The Right to Repair legislation that was introduced in 2021 allows consumers to repair their items with spare parts for ‘simple and safe’ repairs. Spare parts must now be available for up to 10 years. This allows us to keep our items once repaired or introduce it to a secondary market.
Yes, consumers must do their part to improve circularity and reducing E-waste but so must tech companies. It is easy to just ditch items for a new model once it breaks but as the environmental impact becomes more detrimental, we need to move away from the ‘throwaway society’ and fix more and throw away less.