New rules to make it easier for consumers to request repairs for goods will be voted on by the European Parliament.
The legislation seeks to introduce a “right to repair”, in order to reduce unnecessary waste.
It will require producers and sellers of goods to prioritise the repair of an item, during its guarantee period, when it is cheaper or equal to the cost of replacement.
After that time, consumers will also still have a right to request the repair of certain products, however this does not extend to items like cars or batteries.
Items such as washing machines, vacuum cleaners, smartphones and bicycles are included in the draft legislation.
The initiative is all part of helping the EU achieve its Green Deal policy agenda, however some MEPs argue that it could have been more ambitious.
Green Party MEP Ciarán Cuffe described it as a big win overall for the planet adding that, “consumers will have the tools they need to save money by choosing repair over replacement, while businesses will be encouraged to innovate and make products that are made to last longer”.
“Europe is calling time on throw-away culture and taking an essential step towards a truly circular economy,” he said.
Fine Gael MEP Deirdre Clune, a member of the parliament’s Internal Market Committee described the measure as an “important step to empower consumers”, adding that “in the long-run, this new legislation will bring about significant savings for consumers, allowing them to contribute to the circular economy”.
The draft legislation is likely to pass later today, with all 13 Irish MEPs expected to support it.
The major groups in the European Parliament such as the European People’s Party, Renew Europe and the Socialists & Democrats have all indicated that they will support the measure.
Once agreed by the parliament, the process of trialogues will begin, where the Parliament will enter negotiations with the European Council, comprising the member states, to agree on a final text.