The French government should tackle the problem of “planned obsolescence” of technological products by introducing a “durability and repairability” rating.
Planned obsolescence occurs when manufacturers design an existing version of a product to become “dated or unnecessary” within a specified period of time.
In tech circles, the replacement cycle for smartphones has always been two to three years, as their underlying components are designed to wear out or no longer receive software updates.
Smartphones, televisions, washing machines and vacuum cleaners are all used on average for periods shorter than their expected and desired lifespan, according to a recent briefing from the European Environment Agency (EEA).
Extending the lifespan and delaying obsolescence of electronics can significantly reduce its environmental and climate impacts and help meet the environmental, climate and circular economy goals of the European Union (EU), according to the EEA.
Under French government plans, products such as smartphones and electronics and appliances will have a new sticker on their packaging, indicating their estimated “lifespan”.
The stickers will identify the durability of the product and its repairability, on a scale of 1 to 10, depending on The connection.
From January 1, the repair rate will be mandatory for smartphones, TVs, laptops, front-loading washing machines and lawn mowers, according to reports from Le Sunday Times.
The list will be expanded and the “repair” label will become a “sustainability rating” in 2024, said Barbara Pompili, Minister of the Environment.
The plan also plans to create QR codes, allowing consumers to compare labels, to see how the product in question – including its manufacturing process – impacts the environment.
At the same time, the French government is also seeking to set up a network of repair shops for electronic devices, which would offer repair packages.
60% of personal electronics and appliances are thrown away or recycled when they break down due to difficulty repairing items.
The government aims to reduce this percentage to 40% within three years as part of its desire to develop a “circular” consumer economy on the “linear” model of “take-do-use-throw”.