A step towards the right to repair

The European Parliament has voted in favour of a report by Greens/EFA MEP David Cormand which calls for better “repairability of products”.

I really welcome this vote, because I have long championed a right to repair here in the UK.

In 2019, I signed the Manchester Declaration with co-leader Jonathan Bartley, a declaration published in 2018 by repair organisations calling on policymakers, manufacturers and designers to make it easier to repair consumer goods.

During the last General Election, I pledged to put a repair cafe in every community – a place where local experts can help anyone mend or upcycle an old item, with the help of specialist tools and equipment available for free use. 

Today, the Environmental Audit Committee has published a report on electronic waste and the circular economy, setting out a number of recommendations including a call for a right to repair and repairability scores on new products. The Greens’ own Caroline Lucas MP is a member of the EAC, pushing for this vital action.

I’m delighted to see the European Parliament championing the right to repair and proposals from a Green MEP. For a Green recovery and a more resilient future, our own Government must adopt these ideas and support the spaces and new businesses that we need to make repairs possible in every community.

We’ve all experienced the frustration of having to throw away an expensive appliance for want of a small part or a glitch we can’t fix. When things last a few years when they should be lasting for decades, the inevitable result is soaring levels of waste and pollution.

Nobody wants to add to the mountain of junk choking our natural world. A right to repair would create real green jobs and help stop this treadmill of needless consumption and environmental destruction.

This is the future, and Greens are leading the way.