Right to Repair

Cracked screens, weak batteries, faulty printers…

We would like to fix them, but instead we end up buying new products because repair costs are too high and spare parts are not made easily available by manufacturers.

From smartphones to larger home appliances,  reducing the lifespans of our everyday products may drive sales – but it comes at the expense of people and the planet.

We are depleting the world of finite resources and increasing the threat of climate change to buy things that are meant to become waste. Things we could repair or upgrade instead.

The good news is that we have an opportunity to rethink the way our products are designed and to reclaim our right to repair. Together with our friends at Right to Repair EU, the Coolproducts campaign demands:

  • Responsible manufacturing. We want minimum Ecodesign requirements to ensure faulty products can be easily disassembled and components replaced with readily available tools
  • Fair access. Repair should be accessible and affordable, with laws giving people the right to obtain spare parts and repair manuals for the entire lifetime of a product.
  • Informed consumers. Information on product repairability should be made available at the point of purchase to citizens as well as repairers.   
Revealed: the climate cost of smartphones (Coolproducts/EEB 2019)

Europe can be a global leader on the Right to Repair, having already pioneered ground-breaking laws obliging manufacturers to make certain products more easily repairable and durable. Follow Right to Repair EU to learn more about repair initiatives and legislation in Europe.

Facts and figures

  • The proportion of defective devices being replaced by consumers grew from 3.5% in 2004 to 8.3% in 2012 (source)
  • This may be costing German consumers €110 a month per person (source)
  • Extending the lifespans of all smartphones, laptops, washing machines and vacuum cleaners on the EU market by five years would save almost 10 million tonnes of Co2 emissions a year.  This is equivalent to taking 5 million cars off the roads every year (source)
  • Electronic waste is the fastest growing waste stream in the world (source)
  • Only 35% of electronic waste in the EU is collected and treated properly (source)

Want to know more? Visit the Right to Repair campaign website!