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New EU law will prolong life of consumer goods – Andrews

MEPs to vote on landmark consumer legislation this week

A landmark vote on the use of consumer goods will take place at the European Parliament in Strasbourg this week, according to Dublin MEP Barry Andrews.

The Fianna Fáil MEP said the European Union’s new 'Right to Repair Directive' will prolong the use of consumer goods, saving consumers money and cutting down on waste.

“European consumers lose almost €12 billion a year in buying replacements for goods that could have been repaired. This coming week in the European Parliament, we will be voting to bring in regulations obliging manufacturers to repair their products. This will save consumers money, as well as helping move us towards a more circular economy,” explained MEP Andrews.

"The proposal will make it easier and more cost-effective for consumers to repair and upgrade goods, instead of just buying replacements. It will ensure that consumers have easier and cheaper options to repair products such as vacuum cleaners, washing machines and TVs.

"Up until now, it has been too difficult and too expensive for consumers to repair their goods. This is now going to change. The new ‘right to repair’ for consumers isn’t just a win for consumers, it’s also a win for the environment. We have set goals of becoming the first climate neutral continent by 2050 and this is just one initiative to cut down on waste.”

Discarded products result in 35 million tons of waste, 30 million tons of resources and 261 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions in the EU every year. The new Right to Repair Directive will contain a whole new set of rights and tools will be available for consumers to make repair more attractive. In particular:·         The right for consumers to claim repair for products that are technically repairable under EU law (for instance, washing machines or mobile phones)·         An obligation for producers to inform consumers about the products that they are legally obliged to repair and an extension of six months of the liability period of the seller in case of repair·         A European repair information form which consumers can request from any repairer, bringing transparency to repair conditions and prices.  This form also cuts red tape for smaller repairers as it is a standardised form.·         An online repair matchmaking platform to connect consumers with repairers in their area.  At the same time, national platforms will have the possibility to include information about community-led repair initiatives.

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