There was some good news this week as the EU agreed new rules on the right to repair. From 2021, manufacturers of washing machines, dishwashers and fridges will have to support products with spare parts for 10 years. They will have to make key components easy to remove and replace.
If there is to be human civilization in the 22nd century, then one of the main stories of the 21st will be the shift from a consumer economy to a regenerative economy. The practice of extracting resources, making and using goods and then throwing them away has to give way to something more circular, where the full lifecycle of a product is considered. Repair is a big part of that.
Take the mobile phone in my pocket. It is a sealed unit. If any single part of it fails, the whole thing is useless. I can’t even take out the battery and replace it. Repair is impossible. It is designed to be replaced wholesale, as part of an ongoing process of regular upgrading.
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