In a significant stride towards sustainability, European Union negotiators have reached a political agreement on a directive that will grant consumers the right to repair products even after their warranty has expired, encouraging the extension of their lifespan.
This initiative addresses the concerning statistic that the EU generates 35 million tons of waste annually, a substantial portion of which consists of repairable devices. Surveys indicate a strong consumer preference for repairing over replacing, with 77% favoring repairs.
Under the new agreement, manufacturers will be mandated to offer repairs for common household items such as washing machines, vacuum cleaners, and even smartphones, beyond the warranty period. Consumers will be entitled to a replacement during repairs or opt for a refurbished device.
A free online platform will connect consumers with repair services and refurbished goods vendors, enabling price comparisons and better deals.
“The future will see easier and more affordable product repairs rather than costly new purchases. This marks a significant victory for the European Parliament, which has vigorously championed consumer empowerment in combating climate change. The agreement introduces an additional 12-month statutory warranty for products and ensures better access to spare parts for independent repairers,” announced the European Parliament.
The agreement awaits formal ratification by the European Parliament and the Council of the EU before it becomes law.
Member states will then have two years to transpose it into their national legislations.