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Right to repair: Five ways you can save the planet in 2021

Net zero emissions are no longer enough to save the planet, according to Sir James Bevan, The Environment Agency’s chief. And even if all the world’s carbon emissions were halted overnight, the impact of existing pollution would be felt for decades.

These shocking facts should be enough to kickstart the nation into action when it comes to doing all we can to save our planet. 

The UK government will be introducing a ‘Right to Repair‘ household appliances law, shining a light on the staggering figures of the e-waste crisis we’re currently facing.

Appliances such as fridges, washing machines and TVs should last longer and be cheaper to run under new rules.

Ministers have confirmed that from the summer consumers will have a right to repair goods they buy.

They are keeping a promise to implement EU rules aimed at cutting energy and bills – and reducing the need for new materials.

Many consumers have complained that goods don’t last long enough, then can’t be fixed in the home.

Manufacturers will be legally obliged to make spare parts for products available to consumers for the first time – a new legal right for repairs.

Sales of white goods and domestic appliances have skyrocketed, especially during lockdown. But new research from Lupe Technology has revealed that 13% (almost six million people) agree that the majority of their plastic domestic appliances have broken within the first two years. Most of these goods will end up being thrown away, adding to the 1.5 million tonnes of electronic waste that is generated each year.

To try and help consumers in their journey to a greener future, Lupe Technology, a vacuum cleaner start up brand with a green conscience, has put together 5 steps to help save the planet. 

1. Become aware of your plastic footprint – 60% of the nation are unaware of their plastic footprint, which makes it incredibly hard to know how much you’re contributing to plastic waste. With up to 12.7 million tonnes of plastic ending up in the ocean each year, the first step to helping the planet is to find out how much you’re harming it. Use this link to get a little more clued up: https://secure.greenpeace.org.uk/page/content/plastics-calculator 

2. Find out where to recycle old appliances – Almost six million people in the UK have reported that they are storing many domestic appliances at home that have broken. With a third of the UK confessing they don’t know how or where they can recycle these products, too many people are hoarding useless plastic under the stairs. Whilst this is better than just throwing it away at the tip, it’s important to learn where to dispose of these items correctly. Most councils will pick up large appliances from your house for a small fee, or there are other services available such as AO’s Collect and Recycle Service who will pick it up for £20 – a small price to pay for a green conscience!

3. Pick environmentally friendly brands – 53% of the UK have stated that environmentally friendly initiatives from brands have a greater influence over where they shop. It’s worth looking into the brands you’re about to make a purchase from to see whether they are doing their bit to reduce their carbon and plastic footprint. Do they use recyclable packaging? Are they built to last? Are they vocal about the ways in which they’re taking environmentally friendly steps?

4. Consider investing in longer lasting products – With six million people in the UK finding the majority of their plastic domestic appliances breaking within the first two years, it’s all too easy buy the cheapest option. But it’s time to start shopping sensibly and investing in products that are built to last, reducing plastic waste and saving money in the long run. In fact, 45% of the nation already agree they’d happily pay 25% more for a domestic appliance that is greener and more energy efficient, and lasts longer. 

5. Repair your goods – As the ‘Right to Repair’ law comes into effect this summer, it’s a great incentive to repair goods rather than buy new. Initiatives like this can save consumers up to £75 a year and keep electronic waste out of the landfill.

Ending the epidemic of appliances that are built-to-break
In response to the sheer quantity of domestic appliances across the world being discarded into landfill, British start-up Lupe Technology is challenging the status quo of popular consumer goods by creating a vacuum-cleaner for life. Lupe’s Pure Cordlesss vacuum is crafted from recyclable plastic and delivers high performance whilst far outliving the expected shelf-life for typical household appliances. In the event a part does break, each individual small part of Lupe’s product is fully replaceable.

Lupe Technology is also very aware of the carbon footprint mass consumer household appliances have so in order to try and counteract this they are offsetting carbon for the lifecycle of each model sold, with the aim of becoming carbon negative during 2023. 

Main pic: @jontyson

Diane Cooke
Diane Cooke is a three times award-winning journalist who has worked for UK national/regional newspapers, magazines and websites.

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