21 June 2019
Green Party co-leaders Sian Berry and Jonathan Bartley will today jointly be signing the Manchester Declaration calling for a “right to repair” for consumers.
They will be joined by a representative from the Restart movement at the “Library of Things” – a community-focused lending library of useful appliances and tools – in the Upper Norwood Library.
Jonathan Bartley said: “We all know how annoying it is when an appliance that we know used to last for decades dies after a few years, when a new computer won’t work with an older printer, when an expensive kitchen appliance becomes useless for the want of a minor part.
“As consumers, we should have the right to goods made to last, designed so that if an element goes wrong it can be repaired (ideally at home or at a repair cafe), that parts will be available when needed and documentation available to assist the repairer.
“There is no technical reason why this shouldn’t be the case. It is companies seeking to maximise profits, to push sales, that are exploiting us all, and trashing the planet. The governments that should be forcing them to act for the common good, producing a circular economy, are generally failing to act (2).”
Sian Berry added: “We are committing to using our political influence at local, national and EU level to trigger the switch to a circular economy, and fight for our right to repair.
“Planned obsolescence does not benefit the consumer. It certainly doesn’t benefit our planet. The only thing it benefits is the pockets of corporations.
“Up and down the country Green councillors are supporting and encouraging Repair Cafes and Restart Parties. These are great examples of communities getting together, supporting each other, sharing skills, creating environmental benefit, but their work is made unduly difficult by the failure of companies to properly design and make products.”
- Jonathan will point to the fact that the French government has made it a crime to intentionally shorten the life of a product; https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-42615378
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