The European Commission has launched a bill to make mobile phones and tablets more sustainable. This obliges manufacturers, among other things, to offer certain spare parts for longer.
With the proposal, the Commission aims to extend the life of mobile phones and tablets significantly. Manufacturers must provide spare parts for 15 parts for a further five years after a model is launched, five years after the launch. This includes the battery, screen, and housing.
The Commission is also demanding improvements to battery life. Phone and tablet batteries must withstand at least 500 full charges before capacity drops to 83 percent. To inform the consumer when purchasing, there will also be a labeling system with data about the battery life and water and drop resistance.
Manufacturers will also have to keep updating safety software for each model for up to five years after its sale has ended.
With the plan, the Commission wants to reduce the mountain of electronic waste and reduce the use of valuable materials. The international NGO ECOS welcomes the proposal but does not think it goes far enough. “While generally encouraging, these proposals still require significant improvement,” the organization says. ‘For example, the availability and replaceability of parts limit the options for do-it-yourself repairers.’
Technology umbrella organization Digital Europe thinks the plans go too far and argues that just more waste will be created. Nevertheless, major manufacturers opt for the flight ahead: Apple and Samsung, among others, have now started selling spare parts.