110 groups call on UK government to make repair more affordable



Over 110 UK groups are calling for the UK government to make repair more affordable and expand the UK’s right-to-repair regulations to cover all consumer products.

Ahead of International Repair Day on 21 October, over 110 UK groups have signed up to a new Repair and Reuse Declaration calling for support from the UK government to transition from a “throwaway” economy.

Coordinated by The Restart Project, the Declaration is supported by over 90 community repair groups alongside the Design Council, Keep Britain Tidy and other NGOs (non-governmental organisations), and businesses including Back Market, Techbuyer and SUEZ recycling and recovery UK.

Fiona Dear, Co-Director at The Restart Project, commented: “Everyone should have access to low-cost repair, and be able to more easily pass on unwanted products for others to use.

We’re launching a new Repair and Reuse Declaration because most people don’t like throwing away usable things.

“We’re launching a new Repair and Reuse Declaration because most people don’t like throwing away usable things, especially when struggling with the cost of living crisis, but it’s too hard to give products a second life through repair and reuse.

“Government policies can stem the tide of throwaway products through making repair easier, cheaper and more accessible, and making reuse a priority over recycling.”

The Declaration calls on the UK government to make it easier for people to repair products and pass them on to others for a second life and has been endorsed by MPs from the Conservative, Labour and Lib Dems.

The UK is the second-highest producer of electrical waste per person. A YouGov poll commissioned for Repair Day found that 28% of Brits were able to successfully fix, or have fixed, their last electrical item that broke.

Right to repairThe survey also showed that 85% of respondents supported the UK’s Right to Repair regulations being expanded to all appliances and devices. All policies recommended in the Repair and Reuse Declaration were supported by 79% of respondents.

47% of those polled didn’t try to or were unable to repair their last broken electrical item. The top reasons were that repair was too expensive (38%) and that it was quicker to replace it (33%).

Commenting on the declaration, Sarah Ottaway, Sustainability & Social Values Lead at SUEZ recycling and recovery UK, said: “We’re committed to planning and designing for a future where reuse and repair is more mainstream, and this International Repair Day we’re calling on Government and local authorities to recognise the significant opportunities for reuse and repair and accelerate efforts to make it more affordable and accessible for people.

“As it stands we will not be able to achieve net zero unless we consume less. This means integrating repair and reuse practices into our daily lives – keeping resources in active use for much longer than we do currently.”

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