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Right To Repair

The amount of waste electrical and electronics equipment (WEEE) is rising globally, largely due to a lack of regulation and the disposability and designed obsolescence of electronic products that are difficult or impossible to repair.

Every year an estimated 2 million tonnes of WEEE items are discarded in the UK. This waste consists of home appliances and electronics which contain a range of important and precious materials such as metal, glass, plastic, and a range of other rare metals. Repairing extends the use-life of products and is an important part of net zero strategies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and to reduce environmental pollution. For more information listen to this three part BBC podcast called Dare to Repair.

For products to be repairable they must be designed for repairability: spare parts and professional repair services need to be affordable, and the information needed to carry out repair must be accessible. The UK’s ‘Right to Repair’ law was introduced in July 2021 with the aim of extending the life of a range of electronics and appliances by up to ten years. The law also legally requires manufacturers to make spare parts available to citizens and third-party repair companies. Currently the law only covers dishwashers, washing machines, washer-dryers, refrigeration appliances as well as televisions and electronic displays.

Our research aims to investigate how well this law achieves its aim of increasing the lifespan of household appliances and electronics and reducing WEEE. The information you share with us will provide useful data to help develop Right to Repair policy and regulations in the UK.