27 February 2020

Long Live The Machine: How ecodesign & energy labelling can prevent premature obsolescence of laptops

Our new report shows that the EU ecodesign and energy labelling regulatory instruments have a great potential to contribute to the reversal of the current throwaway culture, double laptop lifetimes, and save some 5 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent by 2030 – equivalent to taking nearly 3 million cars off the road.

The proliferation of electronic devices which are difficult to repair and whose lifespans are shortening, contributes to one of the fastest growing waste streams in the EU. This not only puts enormous pressure on the environment, but also results in higher consumer costs and contributes to the climate emergency.

Although successful reuse, repair or refurbishment can extend the lifespan of electronic devices and bring benefits to both the environment and consumers, a number of critical obstacles persist that have so far received limited attention from policymakers. The purpose of this paper is to shed light on these obstacles and to stimulate debate by focusing on measures necessary to enable longer lifetimes for our laptop computers.

ECOS is co-funded by the European Commission and EFTA

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