Right to Repair Legislation Change to Reduce E-Waste
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My name is Claire Goldsworthy and I am the Founder of www.TheFashionAdvocate.com, an online community dedicated to ethical and sustainable fashion, beauty and lifestyle brands.
I am an avid sustainability advocate and a passionate protector of Mother Earth. Through my social media channels which have a collective audience of over 40,000 and my website which has nearly 8000 monthly readers, I communicate the importance of living ethically and sustainably with as little environmental impact as possible.
I promote a ‘reduce, reuse, recycle and repair’ approach to everyday life, but most recently, my right to repair has come into question.
My TV broke and when I tried to repair it, I quickly learned about 'planned obsolescence' and the existing legislation that protects manufacturers against taking responsibility for broken electronic goods. The part I need is no longer available as my TV is six years old and the legislation requires companies to supply parts for only five years, and thus, it cannot be repaired and I cannot exercise my right to repair.
This goes against everything I stand for, but this is bigger than my TV alone.
Clean Up Australia estimates that 88% of the three million TV's purchased in Australia every year will end up in landfill - this contributes to the 140,000+ tonnes of e-waste generated by Australians every year. Fewer than 1% of TVs are recycled in Australia, so e-waste is responsible for 70% of the toxic chemicals such as lead, cadmium and mercury found in landfill. 23,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions would be saved if just half of the televisions discarded annually were recycled. Electronic rubbish is growing at three times the rate of any other waste stream, and discarded devices are piling up around the world at a rate of 40 million per year.
On top of this, Europium oxide, a mineral used to produce the colour red in TVs, is mined in China. Without my right to repair, I am forced to buy another TV and support the mining of 'strategic minerals' in China - which is a political issue I do not want to be part of.
What we need to change, is the existing legislation that protects electronic manufacturers and companies, and reverse the role. We need to protect the environment and force companies to be responsible for the products they manufacture. Five years to supply spare parts is not enough; ten years is not enough. I have a right to repair the products I buy for life if I choose to so that I can live the ethical and sustainable life I choose to - and so do you.
I should have a 'right to repair’ and so should you, and I believe, being able to make sustainable choices is a fundamental human right for all. Our ability to reuse, reduce, repair and recycle allows us to have a positive impact as human beings, and create a positive, more sustainable future for all.
The existing laws in place support 'planned obsolescence' - a design method manufacturers use to encourage disposal of their products and the purchase of new products. This is an unsustainable linear approach to commerce and trade, whereby companies are freed of their environmental responsibilities, and consumers lose their right to exercise them.
Help me change this. If you care about the environment and want to exercise your right to repair electronic goods without a timed deadline, sign this petition.
I am currently in conversation with local government members as well as Shane Rottenbury, the Minister for Climate Change and Sustainability, and will be presenting this petition to parliament in order to establish a Right to Repair legislation in Australia that will help reduce e-waste.
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