… the fightback against planned obsolescence.
We are more and more appreciating how good it can be to repair stuff:
And now it’s becoming easier to do so with a change in regulations:
It’s still a struggle, however, as a new series on Radio 4 explores:
Dare to Repair: How We Broke the Future
We love our electronic gadgets, gizmos and appliances. But when it comes to repairing and caring for them, UK citizens are second only to Norway when it comes to producing electronic waste. We have a culture of buying single-use, throwaway, cheaper-the-better, irreparable electronic goods. But the Age of Consumerism is over. If the kettles, toasters, phones and fridges we buy aren’t made to be repairable, and aren’t repaired, we are going to run out of things to buy, stuff to make them from and money to buy them with.
Dare to Repair explores how we got to this unsustainable state, explores the fightback, whether it’s through global legislation or individual groups, and empowers listeners to prolong the life of their electronics and mechanical goods by fixing them.
Materials scientist Professor Mark Miodownik of UCL looks back to the start of the electronics revolution to find out why our electronic gadgets and household goods are less durable and harder to repair now. As he attempts to fix his digital clock radio, he reveals that the drive for cheaper stuff and advances in design and manufacturing have left us with a culture of throwaway technology and mountains of electronic waste.
And, yes, e-waste is a particular problem:
Finally, one of the core problems is ‘planned obsolescence’ – as explored in a BBC Two series:
photo: Electronic waste at Agbogbloshie, Ghana