The UK government introduced new ‘right to repair’ legislation on 1 July, meaning manufacturers of washing machines, TVs and fridges will be mandated to do more to help customers keep these items working for longer.
Makers will have to ensure spare parts for electrical appliances are available within two years of all model launches. In some cases, parts will need to be available between seven and ten years after the model is discontinued.
At present, the right to repair legislation applies to companies producing white goods – dishwashers, washing machines, washer-dryers, dryers, fridges and freezers – as well as televisions and “other electronic displays” for home use.
Laptops, tablets and smartphones are currently excluded, but it is expected the regulation will evolve to include more products over time.
It’s not just a consumer protection measure by the government – right to repair is part of ambitions to cut down on the mountain of e-waste in the UK by encouraging more of a reuse and repair mentality across society.
There is support for businesses too. For appliances used by corporates, the rules also cover items such as electric motors, vending machines, retail fridges and freezers, and light sources.
Moira Thomas, the new director of group sustainability and environmental, social & governance at Currys PC World parent company Dixons Carphone, said: “As the UK’s largest tech retailer whose mission is to help everyone enjoy amazing technology, we support the steps the government is taking to reduce the 805,000 tonnes of tech waste thrown out by UK households every year with the introduction of the Right to Repair legislation.
“Providing access to easy, affordable repair solutions is vital to protecting the planet as helping to extend a product’s lifespan allows consumers to enjoy it for longer.”
She added Currys PC World has completed 350,000 computing and TV repairs, 370,000 mobile phone repairs and 280,667 white goods repairs in the last 12 months.
Thomas said all Currys PC World stores offer an in-store small repairs service, and the retailer is piloting a new ‘Repair Live’ service, supported by video technology connecting consumers at home to in-store experts.
Read more about e-waste and retail on Green Retail World
[Image credit: Currys/Dixons Carphone]