To: Defra, BEIS and the UK delegation to the EU

Give us the longer-lasting products we want

Give us the longer-lasting products we want

A massive opportunity to transform our throw-away economy could be lost, with the real possibility that Europe's member states water down or vote against key measures in the European Commission's “Circular Economy Package”, which promise more repairable, longer-lasting products. The UK must publicly commit to stop opposing.

Why is this important?

There is greater public support for combating waste than ever before, with the crisis of plastic in the oceans, food waste gaining a massive profile across Europe and the world in the past year. Looking beyond food and packaging, the public wants better products. A survey by the Eurobarometer revealed that 77% of the European public is in favour of more repairable products.

**Globally, this is the year we’re projected to produce nearly 50m tons of electronic waste, which is nearly 1,000 Titanics’ worth.**

The European Commission has worked for years on the Circular Economy Package, with policies to govern resources and waste, including higher targets for recycling and exciting new provisions which will make appliances and electronics more repairable and longer-lasting:
• access to spare parts
• repair documentation
• easier disassembly

It's not just the extreme Eurosceptics in the UK and Italy who are attempting to block these transformative new standards. Manufacturers and other corporate lobbyists are working behind the scenes to scupper the most transformative and pro-planet measures ever proposed.

It's time for the UK to stop preventing Europe from standing up for the majority of its people.

Like most Europeans, we in the UK are also tired of early obsolescence of the products we buy. The European Parliament stood up for the people of Europe last year by voting in support of more repairable electronics.

The UK must support the Right to Repair, which will help our wallets, and save the planet — at once.

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(All of this is occurring against the backdrop of a massive corporate lobby against “Right to Repair” legislation in 18 states in the United States. In the US, electronics manufacturers want to stop people from getting access to refurbished screens, to repair documentation and spare parts.)

More information: https://openrepair.org/news/crucial-opportunity-for-more-repairable-products/
German petition (111,000+ signatures delivered to Environment Minister): https://weact.campact.de/petitions/recht-auf-reparatur
Italian petition (78,000 signatures delivered to Environment Minister): https://www.change.org/p/garantiamo-il-diritto-alla-riparabilit%C3%A0-sergiocosta-min-karmenuvella-ep-president

How it will be delivered

If we get enough signatures, we will deliver the petition to the UK government in London and the UK delegation to the EU, in Brussels.


Reasons for signing

  • • The EU has enough purchasing power to actually drive change upstream in product design etc (see RoHS legislation). a) UK consumers already chuck something like 5 kg per head of household e-waste in the general waste, and b) you see things such as retailers issuing replacements for faulty low value electronics and taking the other back because it's too much effort. Most of the opposition I've seen to right to repair is just downright cynical and just large companies being precious
  • I want to see products that can be repaired easily with spare parts, repair manuals made available to the general
  • I can't accept the throwing away of equipment that usually has only have one small faulty portion.

Updates

2018-12-06 13:25:37 +0000

The first votes on this begin on Monday, 10th December. Meanwhile the latest drafts circulating are *significantly* watered down, restricting access to spare parts and documentation to professionals, and focusing more on recycling than repair. However changes to the measures are still happening behind the scenes. Defra and Beis have an opportunity to fully support the original, non-watered down measures. https://eeb.org/eu-to-deny-citizens-longer-lasting-and-repairable-popular-consumer-products-media-brief/

2018-11-08 14:14:38 +0000

Still no news from Defra or Beis on this. Meanwhile a new report by Green Alliance shows 75% of the British public support these kind of measures https://greenallianceblog.org.uk/2018/11/08/the-people-have-spoken-they-want-products-that-last-and-recyclable-packaging/

2018-10-05 16:00:26 +0100

Thanks in part to public pressure, the measures have been given a green light by the European Commission. However, over the next couple of months, before a Council of the European Union vote (where each member country votes) they could be watered down significantly. We need to maintain our mobilisation and pressure on the UK to step out of the way. More detail here: https://www.coolproducts.eu/news/official-europe-revives-plans-for-energy-and-resource-efficient-products-for-now-1

2018-10-03 13:33:52 +0100

Guardian coverage shows that counterfactual, stale, UK eurosceptic arguments are *still* wielding undue influence in Brussels. We need the UK government to make a statement NOW. https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/oct/02/delays-to-energy-efficient-goods-will-cost-eu-consumers-billions-in-lost-savings

2018-09-29 11:31:56 +0100

We're pushing Defra to come out with a public statement on this issue - let's hope they come forward publicly in coming days. Time is short. Your pressure is helping. (Our contacts in Brussels believe the UK to be blocking due to their posture during a series of meetings on these measures.)

2018-09-28 00:06:18 +0100

1,000 signatures reached

2018-09-27 14:33:16 +0100

A big swell in support for this petition this morning, Thursday 27 September. Thanks to all who have signed. Our next goal is 1,000. There are high-level EC meetings tomorrow and next week on this. Let's keep the pressure up!

2018-09-27 10:08:51 +0100

500 signatures reached

2018-09-25 15:37:22 +0100

100 signatures reached

2018-09-25 10:42:53 +0100

50 signatures reached

2018-09-25 09:43:42 +0100

25 signatures reached

2018-09-25 09:05:47 +0100

10 signatures reached