Electronics in view of the right to repair

The new energy labels have already entered into force on 1 March 2021, now it's time to standardize chargers. The European Union wants to introduce a unified USB Type-C connection to all smartphones. Phone manufacturers will be obliged to change the sockets in their models to be able to use one charger. Rightly so, because looking for a connection and a suitable charger is sometimes a miracle when we are in a public city space or on vacation. Getting rid of all cables and adapters certainly makes life much easier for consumers.

Easier electronics repair

Better labelling of devices for repair is a milestone towards ecology. Consumers should know how long their smartphones or laptops will be available for use. France has already implemented a 10-point repair difficulty scale, of which 1 is very difficult and 10 is very simple. Such additional markings make it easier for the consumer to undertake the repair. Sometimes it is enough to replace the battery and the equipment can still be used without any problems. Interestingly, iFixit used its own indexes much earlier in flagship videos about the dismantling of mobile phones.

The so-called "disposables" should disappear from the market in favour of reusable devices. For sure, the Apple brand will have a big problem with that, because everything is “different” with them. Nevertheless, they will have to refer to the changing rules. 

The Apple co-founder, Steve Wozniak, enthusiastically supported the "right to repair" movement, even though for years Apple has been fighting attempts to change the law in the US and around the world. [1]

Interestingly, Great Britain has introduced its own legal regulations limiting the amount of electro-waste. From July 1, it orders electronics manufacturers to provide spare parts for electrical devices that consumers buy. 

We want to repair, we want to manage our resources more. The problem of electro-waste is ubiquitous. Give people a chance! Maybe in Poland it would pass? Let's take an example from France.

Electronics in Poland

Consumer electronics dominate in Poland, accounting for 30% of the electronics market. Compared to the bordering countries, it shows a steady development potential. Parts for laptops, smartphones and tablets account for about 20% of the domestic electronics market. Given the economic slowdown caused by the coronavirus pandemic and rising prices of raw materials, it may become more and more expensive. Therefore, we will pay even more for new equipment. What is the point of "overpaying", if worn components can be repaired and replaced? People want to repair and will do so if they have access to spare parts and tools. 

North.pl offers over 25 000 parts for smartphones, mainly displays, cases, batteries, flaps that can be replaced by yourself. The section of laptops is dominated by cases, power supplies, connectors, sockets, hinges - as parts that wear out the fastest and at the same time consumers replace them with new ones. The repair trend and consumer awareness are both growing year by year. 

By investing in reusable devices, e.g. business laptops, we are able to save more over the years compared to consumer laptops, which have worse parameters and are harder to repair without specialist knowledge.  

The text was created as part of the "Green Direction" campaign organised by North, Precio and Green Cell. You can read more about the assumptions of the campaign here.

Sources:

  1. https://cyfrowa.rp.pl/globalne-interesy/65566-zalozyciel-apple-za-prawem-do-naprawy-wbrew-koncernom.