Extending the service life of electrical appliances

Two women in front of a washing machineClick to enlarge
From an environmental viewpoint, some electrical appliances are being used for too short a time.
Source: Kadmy / Fotolia.com

The service life of most electrical appliances and equipment is becoming ever shorter – at the expense of the environment. The production of new models requires the consumption of valuable precious metals and energy which are not compensated by innovations such as lower energy use. UBA has drafted policy recommendations that will be fed into the European debate about the Circular Economy Package.

The European Parliament drafted the own-initiative report "Longer lifetime for products: benefits for consumers and companies" in 2016. This report is currently being discussed in the Parliament committees. The initiative provides a good opportunity to feed environment-related recommendations from the German Environment Agency into these processes.

Our recommendations concern

  • the establishment of a product-specific minimum service life in the implementation of the Ecodesign Directive,
  • the introduction of a duty to provide information about the availability of spare parts and repair services,
  • a manufacturer’s obligation to state a guaranteed service life of their products,
  • the establishment of a reduced Value Added Tax rate on repair services,
  • and improved communication about sustainable consumption.

The aim is to feed UBA's recommendations into the Parliament's final report. Thereby the UBA also has impact on current debates and the European Commission's legislative activity within the framework of the Circular Economy Package and the proposal for the Online Sales Directive.