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Ongoing

Obsolescence and access to repair

For more durable products that are more easily repaired

To reduce the environmental impact of the products we buy, many things need to be done throughout their life cycle. A solid design, proper usage, good maintenance and the ability to repair, if needed. Équiterre is researching, raising awareness and proposing promising solutions to help make our products more durable.

The challenge

When we look at an item in our hands, we only see the tip of the iceberg of all the resources that were needed to produce it.

Our current overexploitation of resources, combined with increasingly short life cycles for many products, is unsustainable. How is it that electrical appliances made decades ago lasted far longer than those made today, despite technological advances?

We know that we need to make our products more durable and last longer. Équiterre's study on obsolescence looked at many possible solutions, including increasing access to repair.


26%

of Canadians have their electronics and electrical appliances repaired.

 We can no longer afford to operate in a system of production and consumption that favours low-cost replacement items over repairing existing ones. 

Amélie Côté

Équiterre's work

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Équiterre is working to make it easier to consume responsibly, through reduction at the source, buying local, reuse, repair and sharing.

Since 2018, Équiterre has been pressuring governments to put more emphasis on the durability and repairability of products, prioritizing solutions to extend their life, such as increasing access to repair.

Objectives

  1. Raise awareness about access to repair and the fight against obsolescence
  2. Improve access to repair
  3. Cooperate with stakeholders to grow the repair movement and fight obsolescence
  4. Propose solutions to various levels of government

Our impact

  • We published the first Canada-wide study on the obsolescence of electronics and electrical appliances.
  • We have nearly 10,000 signatures on our petition to make products more durable and more easily repaired.
  • We've participated in public consultations held by the Office de la protection du consommateur

Project history

2022

Upcoming - Dissemination of the first Canada-wide study on access to repair for electronics and electrical appliances.

2021

Planned obsolescence is addressed by legislation!

Passage in principle of Bill 197: An Act to amend the Consumer Protection Act to fight planned obsolescence and assert the right to repair goods.

2019

The 5Rs: Refuse, Reduce, Repair, Reuse and, as a last resort, Recycle.

Participation in public consultations held by the Office de la protection du consommateur on product durability and repairability.

2018

Publication of the first Canada-wide study on the obsolescence of electronics and electrical appliances.

Testimonials

Take action

Analyst, Reduction at the Source