The European commission wants to drastically increase recycling of electronic goods, which are often difficult to repair, replace batteries or upgrade. Less than 40% of electronic waste in the EU is thought to be recycled.
Billed as “the right to repair”, the European commission will extend an eco-design law to cover phones, tablets and laptops, setting technical standards so these goods consist of changeable and repairable parts. The current eco-design directive sets energy efficiency standards for computers, TVs, dishwashers and washing machines.
Virginijus Sinkevičius, European commissioner for the environment, said the “circular economy” plan was a new economic model for the continent.
“The linear growth model of ‘take, make, use discard’ has reached its limits,” he told reporters. “With the growth of the world population and consumption, this linear model pushes us closer and closer to a resource crisis. The only way ahead is decoupling economic growth from extraction of primary resources and their environmental impacts.”