Ever had an electronic items or a home appliance stop working shortly after the warranty period? It’s pretty frustrating, and seems more common these days. Products don’t just last like they used to… and that means much more waste heading for landfills. New French laws aim to counter this trend of the cheap and short-lived product: manufacturers are going to have to add labels that inform consumers about how long spare parts will be available for a product. Next year, they’ll have to take products back for repair or replacement for a full two years.
No doubt, these requirements will get designers thinking about product quality: it’ll be cheaper in the long run for a company to make products that last rather than repair/replace products that don’t. And, as Adele Peters at FastCo.Exist observes, those spare parts notifications – which essentially tell consumers how long the manufacturer plans to support a product – give a hint about life cycle expectations.
The French are leading the pack on the producer responsibility front; it’ll be interesting to see what countries follow suit.
Other stories from the waste sector:
Going circular creates jobs: UK-based non-profit WRAP released a report showing the job creation expectations of resource efficiency increases created by reuse, recycling, and repair. Co-authored with the Green Alliance, Employment and the circular economy: job creation in a more resource efficient Britain predicts that over 200,000 jobs could be created in this sector by 2030, and many of them would be appropriate for low and medium skilled workers (who are generally hardest hit by economic shifts).
Auto parts can now go in Zero Waste Boxes: a few months ago, we covered Terracycle’s Zero Waste Box. Not only has this concept come to the US, but it’s also vastly expanded: boxes for products ranging from automotive parts to action figures are now available (as well as “single stream” boxes). The company has boxes available for both consumers and commercial users. (via Waste Dive)