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Consumers to Have Right to Repair Products In Near Future

Ireland South MEP Grace O’Sullivan welcomes the historic win, citing the Right to Repair as an inseparable part of a circular economy.

This week, the European Parliament adopted its position on a new “Right to Repair” law, which will empower consumers with stronger rights to have their products to be both repairable and repaired in the near future . The directive will see an obligation for manufacturers to repair their products for a certain period of time, with the prioritisation of repair over replacement in the event of a product defect during the statutory guarantee period.

MEP for Ireland South Grace O’Sullivan welcomed this news, having campaigned successfully with the Greens/EFA Group in the European Parliament to prevent practices that stand in the way of repair, such as the device no longer working with spare parts not produced by the manufacturer.

“The Right to Repair is another win in the fight against throwaway economics; practices intended to make repairing our appliances difficult with incorporated planned obsolescence. It can be very frustrating to have a product come to the end of its life prematurely with no option to repair it, or where the cost of repair is more than purchasing a new item altogether. Consumers are long overdue these protections and it’s high time that companies acted responsibly with the limited resources our planet can provide. The days of ‘sell sell sell’ have to come to an end, manufacturers must prioritise quality, longevity and repairability if we are to work towards a real circular economy.” O’Sullivan stated.

The new rules note that repairs should be both accessible and affordable, providing access to inexpensive spare parts and repair instructions. The parliament will also continue negotiations with Member States, fighting to extend the legal guarantee by one year after repair. The Right to Repair rules aim to open up the previously unchallenged market, dominated by powerful corporations such as Apple, who have historically kept tight control over the access to parts and reparation process of their devices.

The Right to Repair Law will now progress with further negotiations with the European Commission and Council to take place, before it is expected to become law.

“This new law is a way of enabling both consumers and manufacturers to be more sustainable and less wasteful. The right to repair and the circular economy are inseparable” O’Sullivan shared.

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