New rules that are being introduced this summer should mean that fridges, washing machines, TVs and other home appliances should last longer and cost less to run. Ministers are implementing new rules from the EU, which are aiming to reduce the need for new raw materials whilst saving energy and saving consumers’ money.
‘Premature obsolescence’, where manufacturers build short lifespans into their products so that consumers need to buy replacements sooner should become a thing of the past, if the new legislation works. Under the new rules, products will also have to consume less energy, saving consumers up to £75 per year on energy bills. And manufacturers will have to make spare parts for their products, with consumers will having a legal right to have their goods repaired. It is hoped that this will have the effect of extending the life of products by up to 10 years and reduce 1.5 million tonnes of electrical waste that we currently throw away in the UK each year.
This new legislation is an attempt to end the needless cycle of throwing away appliances when they develop a fault, rather than getting them repaired. It’s essential that we end our throwaway culture as soon as possible. The manufacture of new goods creates a large amount of carbon emissions, so reducing the need to produce more will have the effect of reducing our emissions too. The new legal requirements are a step in the right direction.