At the moment most ecodesign repairability requirements are developed on a product-by-product basis and only exist for 8 categories of products (currently washing machines, dryers, dishwashers, fridges, displays, welding equipment, vacuum cleaners, servers). This leaves the most problematic and unrepairable products, such as small consumer electronics and ICT (Information and Communications Technology), completely exempt from repair requirements.
These requirements are helpful to make certain spare parts and repair information accessible to professional repairers and end-users, as well as oblige manufacturers to respect certain ease of disassembly obligations.
This product-by-product approach makes legislation progress extremely slowly and does not reflect the urgency that is needed to make all products put on the EU market longer-lasting and repairable!
Together with 33 co-signatories, we sent this letter to the European Commission to call for ecodesign resource efficiency requirements that would apply, at once, to a wide range of products, including at least ICT and other electronic products.
The European Environmental Bureau (founding member of the Right to Repair Europe coalition) published a study which calls attention to the need for ICT products to be prioritised in ESPR (Ecodesign for Sustainable Products Regulation) and Ecodesign. The study demonstrates significant material impacts in a number of broad product groupings that have yet to be properly addressed.
The Commission is at risk of missing the opportunity to unlock sizeable savings by allowing unaddressed products in this area to fall between the boundaries of traditional Ecodesign regulations and ongoing discussions around priority areas for ESPR implementation. The study details exactly how horizontal measures going beyond the basic concepts of durability and reparability could be defined and provides an order of magnitude of the potential savings that could be achieved.
Besides calling for ICT and small electronics to be covered by ecodesign, the Right to Repair Europe coalition is also fighting to include these products within the scope of the upcoming repair rules within consumer legislation (often referred to as Right to Repair proposal).