The new right to repair legislation came into force in the UK this month and it aims to make repairs easier for consumers, increase product lifespans, and make manufactured goods cheaper to run and better for the environment.
What does the new legislation do?
The right to repair law gives consumers the choice to carry out repairs either themselves or by using a third party and prevent planned obsolescence. Planned obsolescence is when appliances become unusable after some time with no means of repair.
With the new law coming to force, manufacturers will now legally make spare parts for their products available. The spare parts will have to be safe and easy to use at home, for example, spare door hinges for washing machines will be available to all. Tougher repair jobs will have to be carried out by professionals.
The new legislation applies to appliances bought from the 1st of July 2021 and could extend the lifespan of your new appliances by up to 10 years. Manufacturers will have two years after a product becomes available in the market to make spare parts available to consumers.
Alongside the right to repair law, the government has also made new rules for how much energy washing machines, fridges and TVs can use – with the aim of cutting energy bills by £75 a year.
What appliances will the right to repair law apply to?
Currently, the right to repair law doesn’t cover all electronic appliances and only covers washing machines, washer-dryers, fridges, dishwashers, TVs, other electronic displays and non-consumer electronics, such as light sources, electric motors, refrigerators with a direct sales function, power transformers and welding equipment.
Room for improvement
Although these new rules are a great step towards long-lasting appliances, less electrical waste and carbon emissions, there have been some questions about when and if the law will be amended to cover more appliances.
For example, laptops and smartphones are excluded from the legislation, but are considered to be one of the biggest culprits of electronic waste.
The law also doesn’t cover any regulations on the price of spare parts and how affordable third party repairs will be. Organisations are calling for the government to rethink the new legislation and include more regulations.
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