EU demands replaceable batteries: an important step towards reducing e-waste

Great news for the Right-to-Repair! The European Parliament has approved a new battery regulation to further reduce waste, particularly e-waste, in Europe. This is a big step towards making electronics more sustainable, although there are still challenges to face, especially when it comes to making repairs affordable.


The new battery regulation focuses on making it easier to remove and replace batteries, so people can use their devices for longer. Cristina Ganapini, who coordinates the Right to Repair Europe campaign, is happy about this important achievement: "This is a big win for the right to repair. From now on, all new portable devices and light transportation devices must have replaceable batteries. In many cases, users will be able to replace the batteries themselves. Manufacturers will also have to provide spare batteries for five years after they release the last unit of a model. The regulation says that spare batteries should be sold at a fair price, and we'll keep an eye on manufacturers to make sure they follow these rules."


The regulation also stops unfair practices. Ugo Vallauri, co-director of the Restart Project, highlighted how important this is: "We're happy that manufacturers can't force people to use specific spare parts for repairs anymore. This is something we've been fighting for with the Right to Repair campaign. We want this level of fairness for all spare parts." 


Even though the battery regulation is a big step forward, there's still work to be done. Thomas Opsomer, Policy Engineer for iFixit, says we need to watch out for problems. "Some people might try to make exceptions for devices used in wet conditions. They might say those devices don't need easy-to-change batteries. This could mean things like electric toothbrushes and small electronics won't have batteries that users can replace. But these exceptions are not fair because there are already many products with replaceable batteries that work in wet conditions, like underwater flashlights."


Approving the new battery regulation is a big deal for Europe's journey towards sustainability and reducing e-waste. It's a positive development for consumers' rights to repair. However, more efforts are needed to make sure repairs are affordable for everyone and that manufacturers follow the rules about removable and available batteries. If we work together, we can create a more sustainable future for electronics. As supporters of the Right-to-Repair movement, we at 4Phones are happy about this sustainable and circular development!

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