Consumers given ‘right to repair’ to tackle obsolescence

Manufacturers are now legally obliged to make home products such as washing machines and dishwashers easier to repair

Leonie Chao-Fong
Thursday 01 July 2021 01:51
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<p>Manufacturers are now legally obliged to make home products such as washing machines easier to repair</p>

Manufacturers are now legally obliged to make home products such as washing machines easier to repair

Home products such as washing machines and dishwashers must be easier to repair under new standards to tackle “premature obsolescence”.

From Thursday, manufacturers are legally obliged to make spare parts for products available to consumers for the first time.

The new legal right for repairs is designed to mean electrical appliances can be fixed easily and extend the lifespan of products by up to 10 years.

Premature obsolescence is when a short lifespan is deliberately built into an appliance by manufacturers which leads to unnecessary and costly replacements for the consumer.

More than 1.5 million tonnes of electrical waste is generated in the UK and the government’s latest move aims to address this issue.

Minister of state for energy Anne-Marie Trevelyan said: "The tougher standards coming in today will ensure more of our electrical goods can be fixed rather than have to be thrown away when they stop working, putting more money back in the pockets of consumers, as we build back greener."

Climate change minister Lord Callanan said: "We can all play our part in ending our contribution to climate change, even when we're choosing a new electrical appliance.

"Our reforms are helping consumers make more informed decisions about how eco-friendly one smart TV or dishwasher is over another, helping us reduce our carbon footprint."

Which? consumer rights spokesman Adam French said: "Too often electrical items end up in landfill because they are either too costly or difficult to fix, so these new rules requiring manufacturers to make spare parts more widely available are a step in the right direction and should ensure products last longer and help reduce electrical waste.

"As a next step, we want the Government to extend these rules to cover more appliances, ensure the parts are available throughout the lifespan of each product and are easily affordable."

Additional reporting by PA

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