EU bins ‘throwaway culture’ for Right to Repair


Dublin MEP Ciarán Cuffe has welcomed an improved ‘Right to Repair’ for consumers in Europe under a EU new law, the ‘Directive on Common Rules promoting the repair of goods’. MEPs voted by a strong majority in favour of this law today in Strasbourg, approving an enhanced obligation for manufacturers to repair their products within a certain period of time and other measures to promote repair over replacement. The European Commission estimates that consumers lose almost €12 billion per year by choosing to replace goods that may have been repaired.

Reacting to the vote in Strasbourg, MEP Cuffe said:

“This law is about ending throwaway culture and moving to a circular economy. Poor quality goods that break easily and can’t be repaired have been flooding the market in recent years, and it’s not good enough. Sellers will have to offer a better deal for fixing goods like washing machines, fridges, hoovers, and even bicycles for an extended period of time. Consumers will be able to save hundreds of euros, while businesses will be encouraged to innovate and make goods that last longer. This move could cut millions of tonnes of CO2 emissions, and save huge amounts of precious resources that are used to produce replacements.”

He continued:

“Consumers want to be able to repair their products: over 75% in Europe would rather repair, but they are discouraged by price and the availability of services. Under this  new law, producers will no longer be able to impede repair; there will be greater access to spare parts, including for independent repairers, at reasonable prices; and producers will no longer be able to refuse to repair a device that has previously been repaired by someone else. It’s better for your pocket, and the planet.”

The product categories covered in the draft rules approved today include washing machines, dishwashers, vacuum cleaners, mobile phones and tablets, and bicycles. Following MEP approval, the proposed Directive will move to final negotiations known as ‘trilogues’, where representatives from the European Parliament, the European Commission, and the European Council will agree to a final version of the law. These negotiations are expected to begin in the coming weeks, and should be completed within the first half of 2024.


November 21, 2023

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