Shutterstock Vlad Teodor Close Authorship In the waning months of 2020, the European Union took ambitious steps to address the more than 12 million tons of electronic waste the bloc produces annually. Acknowledging that "Europe is living well beyond planetary boundaries," a European Parliamen vote called for mandatory repairability scores for consumer electronics, amongst a host of other initiatives intended to extend products’ life spans. Wasting no time, several European nations jumped in on the (repair) action — the U.K. agreed to enforce EU repair rules, France launched a repairability index for select electronics and Austria reduced taxes on small repairs. While some feel these efforts don’t go far enough , they’re all seen as a huge win for the right to repair movement — an activist-led fight to give consumers (or third-party repair shops of their choosing) the legally protected freedom to fix and modify the products they own. What’s in a movement From tractors to TVs, when everyday products break they are difficult, if not impossible, to fix. Replacement parts and repair manuals are hard to come by; complex designs make disassembly unmanageable; and legal hurdles have been erected in the name of IP and consumer data […]

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