German government successfully advocates for greater ease of repair
The European Commission, in cooperation with the EU member states, has decided to introduce an EU energy label for smartphones and tablets. For the first time, the label will also feature a repairability index. Manufacturers of smartphones and tablets must indicate on a scale of A-E how easily their devices can be repaired. The new energy label will be available on appliances throughout the EU starting in 2025.
Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Climate Action Robert Habeck commented: "Smartphones and tablets have become an indispensable part of everyday life for most consumers. This makes reliable help with their consumer choices all the more important, something we can now provide for the future. It also gives smartphone and tablet manufacturers an incentive to design innovative and sustainable products. This will help us use resources more efficiently around the world."
Federal Environment Minister Steffi Lemke remarked: "The repairability index is a good guide for consumers. In future, they will find it easier to buy smartphones and tablets that can actually be repaired and are therefore more durable. This saves resources, protects the environment and goes easier on consumer wallets. Today’s decision is an important turning point for a mass market still dominated by the disposable principle. In future, repair will replace disposal as the new norm."
The rating, which is depicted by a tool icon, takes into account factors such as the number of steps needed to take the device apart, the availability of replacement parts and how long software updates are available. On 18 November 2022, EU member states and the Commission already adopted new ecodesign requirements for smartphones, tablets, mobile phones, cordless phones and other consumer electronics.