Right to Repair: Fixing Our Own Broken Stuff Should be Standard

Written by on January 12, 2019 in Sci-Tech, Technology with 0 Comments
Trashed-Smartphones-vs-Right-to-Repair

Image Credit: Waking Times

By Lorraine Chow | Waking Times

When our smartphones, televisions or other gadgets stop working, it seems like the only choice we have is to get rid of it. This never-ending stream of electronic waste has created mountains of toxic trash that’s hazardous to people and the planet.

That’s why consumers and lawmakers in the U.S. and Europe are fighting back under the burgeoning “Right to Repair” movement that demands manufacturers make products that last longer and are easier to fix, BBC News reported.At least 18 U.S. states are considering repair legislation and a similar proposal arose in European Parliament. States that have introduced “Right to Repair” bills include California, Washington, Massachusetts, Vermont, New York, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, North Carolina, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Virginia.

This change can’t come soon enough. E-waste is the fastest-growing waste stream in the world. In 2016, some 44.7 million metric tonnes of e-waste were generated globally, according to the Global E-waste Monitor 2017 (pdf). As more and more products come along, experts forecast an increase of e-junk to 52.2 million metric tonnes by 2021.

In March, California Assembly member Susan Talamantes Eggman introduced the “California Right to Repair Act” that would require manufacturers to release diagnostic and repair instructions, and make equipment or service parts available to product owners and to independent repair shops.

The bill was introduced just a handful of months after Apple was accused of slowing down older iPhones—a move that led some users to spend hundreds of dollars on new phones rather than simply replace the battery. That’s not to mention that Apple makes their phones very difficult to crack open, making it hard to DIY a fix. (Apple apologized and offered a discount for battery replacement.)


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