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Right to Repair Initiative: A Step Towards Circular Economy



  Dec 25, 2023

Right to Repair Initiative: A Step Towards Circular Economy




Understanding the Electronic Waste Challenge

Electronic waste (e-waste) is the byproduct of expired electronic products and represents the world's fastest-growing waste stream. The booming Information and Communication Technology sector has led to increased electronic equipment usage, resulting in rapid obsolescence and a surge in e-waste. This issue demands systematic management through policies and practices, as irresponsible disposal of e-waste can cause severe environmental and health hazards. India alone generates approximately 3.2 million tons of e-waste annually, containing valuable and hazardous materials.

India’s E-Waste Management Efforts

The Government of India has implemented regulations to formalize the e-waste recycling sector, starting with the E-Waste (Management) Rules in 2016. These rules mandate authorization for dismantling and recycling units and aim to streamline the recycling industry. Subsequent amendments and guidelines have further evolved these initiatives.

The Right to Repair Movement

In alignment with the LiFE (Lifestyle for Environment) movement, the 'Right to Repair' initiative empowers consumers to repair or modify their products, challenging the practice of planned obsolescence. This framework, spearheaded by the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, aims to ensure that consumers have access to repairs at reasonable costs, thus extending product lifespans and contributing to a circular economy.

Key Sectors and Objectives of the Right to Repair

The initiative focuses on sectors like farming equipment, mobile devices, consumer durables, and automobiles. It mandates manufacturers to provide detailed product information, facilitating self-repair or third-party services. This approach not only saves consumer costs but also fosters trade harmonization, job creation, and significant reductions in e-waste.

The Right to Repair Portal

This portal offers a comprehensive platform for consumers to access repair information, authorized repairers, and third-party services. It includes warranty and post-sale details, ensuring transparency in spare parts pricing and authenticity.

International Perspective on Right to Repair

Countries like France, the United Kingdom, the European Union, and the United States have also embraced similar initiatives, advocating for consumer rights in product repairs and promoting a circular economy.

ERSO Pilot Initiative: India's Global Ambition

The Electronics Repair Services Outsourcing (ERSO) Pilot initiative, launched in Bengaluru, aspires to position India as the global leader in electronics repair. This initiative aligns with global environmental sustainability efforts and is projected to generate significant revenue and employment opportunities.

Mission LiFE: A Global Climate Action Movement

Mission LiFE (Lifestyle for Environment) is a global movement encouraging individuals to adopt eco-friendly lifestyles. It focuses on collective action and social influence to establish environmentally sustainable behaviors as the norm.

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