Planned obsolescence can be stopped by repairing electronics – try Govanhill’s repair cafe – HeraldScotland

THE IT chap looked at me with absolute scorn as I moaned to him about the built in obsolescence of modern technology.

“You work for a newspaper,” he said, “It’s designed to go in the bin at the end of the day.” Yeah, alright pal. Touché.

But I was right to complain. In Britain the average person discards more electrical items each year than anywhere else in the world bar Norway, which is a surprising fact given Norway’s reputation as a paragon of virtue.

Don’t gloat, though, being second worst is still bad. The government, it has been announced, is looking to do something about this planned obsolescence and our throwaway ways. Ministers are considering plans to mandate that washing machines, fridges and televisions must carry labels informing shoppers of their expected lifespan.

Spare parts would be available for at least seven years (which doesn’t seem nearly long enough but at least is a step in the right direction) and consumers would be urged to repair rather than replace.

Apparently extending the lifespan of smartphones, laptops, washing machines and vacuum cleaners across Europe by one year would save carbon emissions equivalent to taking two million cars off the road each year.

I’m forever banging on about this but, when it comes to the environment, looking backwards seems as much of value as innovating forwards. Using paper bags instead of plastic; growing your own fruit and veg in the
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