1,000 Titanics and 4,500 Eiffel Towers

Welcome to another edition of the Repair Café Glasgow blog! In this edition, we’ll chat about an urgent and timely issue that is up for a vote in the European Union in the coming months that you can take action on: the durability and repairability of consumer goods. Based on survey results, it is abundantly clear that consumers want longer lasting, more reparable products, like lighting, displays, washing machines, dishwashers and fridges. Unfortunately, the UK, Italy and Germany have all bowed to pressure from corporate lobbyists to water down new EU rules governing industry, flying in the face of what their constituents have clearly requested.

These votes in the European Commission are important because as a result of the manufacturing of less durable and reparable products, we will end up with nearly fifty metric tonnes of electronic waste…this year! That’s like 1,000 Titanics of e-waste; and we know how that ship went down. With this flood of flimsy, planned-to-fail products, we waste time, money and natural resources.

Stephane Arditi of the European Environmental Bureau (EEB) said,“We pay the price for each unrepairable product that’s put on the market. People are tired of wasting money on products that are designed to become waste. EU officials are aware of the societal benefits of responsible design, and yet they have caved in to pressure from the industry. At stake are also thousands of new jobs in the repair sector as well as resource and carbon emission savings… It’s time to put the rights of the people and climate action over corporate profits.”

And come to one of our events and bring your stuff that might otherwise be added to the pile of stuff chucked away. Globally, 50 tonnes of household waste is thrown away every second. But if you fix your electronic stuff, you can avoid contributing to the 4,500 Eiffel Towers’ worth of e-waste. You can find a calendar of our events on our website and on our social media outlets including Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Have a look at a new documentary out of Toronto, Canada. It’s called ‘Fixed!’and you can watch it by following the link on Facebook. It follows Repair Café Toronto through one of its repair events and is worth watching.

It all seems so overwhelming to us sometimes. What can we do? We feel like we have no power over our own stuff, never mind our own futures. But we can take meaningful actions! Participating in Repair Cafes, signing petitions, and educating ourselves will help. There was the first of perhaps many demonstrations yesterday in Brussels for the right to repair; our friends over at the Restart Project were there on site to participate. Sign the petition to Defra, BEIS and the UK delegation to the EU, so that you can help prevent the sinking of our most precious ship: our planet.