In our previous blog article you could find out why mining can never be made ‘green’ or done ‘responsibly’. That’s why we should drastically reduce our need for new raw materials. We cannot continue to extract more and more metals and minerals. We should end practices like ‘planned obsolescence’ immediately. This practice, sadly commonly used in our “throwaway” system, means that electronic products are designed to make repair difficult or unfeasible, with a limited lifespan. It leads to enormous waste and increases the need for the extraction of raw materials.
Let us imagine an alternative future, one where non-renewable resources are kept in the soil where they belong. Let us convince our policy makers to Go Circular and stop planned obsolescence.
Solutions and challenges on EU level
Elements of the Sustainable Products Initiative (SPI) proposal are promising, including the extension of minimum eco-design requirements to the ‘widest range of products’. Requirements will include product aspects such as repairability, durability, and carbon and environmental footprints.
However, the EU must go further. Sustainability in the SPI is confined to environmental impacts, disregarding the social dimension. Products that pass proposed eco-design criteria, but are made in terrible human rights conditions, are by the European Commission’s own definition ‘sustainable’. The current proposal lacks ambition. The Commission plans to only introduce four product regulations per year, starting in 2024. Despite being responsible for around a quarter of the EU’s 2020 emissions reduction targets, eco-design and energy labelling rules have historically been beset by repeated delays and a lack of adequate resources.
Flanders: Setting the example?
Since Flanders presents itself as a leader in Europe in the field of circularity, we believe that the Flemish government should be at the head of the pack for a strong regulation at the European level for circular ICT. Repairability, consumer support, control and recyclability are strong mechanisms to achieve this. Check out our demands for the Flemish government. By implementing these, Flanders would be a frontrunner on circularity in Europe and can send clear signs to our European politicians.
CTRL ALT DELETE, reset the system
Through our Ctrl Alt Delete: Stop Planned Obsolescence campaign we are advocating for strict regulations to ensure electronic products are eco-designed, repairable, and made to last. Eighty percent of the impact of a product’s life-cycle is locked in during the design phase. CATAPA demands a CTRL ALT DELETE, a reset of the system:
CTRL – CONTROL & transparency of electronic product manufacturing
ALT – ALTERNATIVE legislation restricting planned obsolescence
DEL – DELETE the production of electronic products with too short a life span
Do you want to take action yourself?
Call on your municipality to sign our CTRL ALT DEL charter. This will give our campaign more weight and you will fight together with us to counteract planned obsolescence and all its negative effects. By signing the charter, the city or municipality commits to setting a ‘good example’ by purchasing sustainable ICT and using ICT in a well-considered way. They also commit to boosting the recovery and manufacturing economy in their city or municipality.
You can also file a complaint about your broken electronic devices on our website. The complaints will be gathered to raise awareness and put pressure on the Flemish government and the EU to implement strong regulations.
Ready to take action? Join our movement or engage yourself in one of the mentioned actions.