Today, the EU Commission has presented a ‘Circular Economy Action Plan‘. For the electronics sector, this initiative will enable longer product lifetimes through reusability and reparability as well as upgradeability of components and software to avoid premature obsolescence. Many of the proposals have long been advocated by Fairphone and have been implemented in the absence of legislation. Fairphone set out to change the electronics industry from the inside and has made removable batteries, repairable and modular phones and long term software support the norm for its devices.
Miquel Ballester, Fairphone’s Circular Innovation Lead comments: “Today’s Circular Electronics proposal from the EU is such an exciting moment for Fairphone. From the beginning, we’ve promoted modularity, reparability and recyclability for the smartphone – and the electronics industry as a whole. With this announcement, our mission statement has been taken up at the highest level and could be turned into legislation. It would require manufacturers to make electronics that are easily repairable, particularly batteries, and provide software upgrades for longer – supporting us in our quest to extend the lifespan of electronics. This will go a long way in helping to solve the e-waste problem that has been so detrimental to the environment, creating a market that is more sustainable.”
Fairphone has contributed to the EU funded projects Sustainability SMART and SMART contributing its own findings to how a long lifetime and reparability can be made possible for electronics and has actively advocated for the EU commission to turn its models into legislation. Fairphone welcomes the proposal as a great step forward to make the electronics industry more sustainable.