January 9, 2023/Mari Lou WGMD The Talk of DelMarVa
Multiple bills have already been filed ahead of the start of the session, including Right to Repair.... MORE
Currently when an electronic product such as a cell phone or electronic game breaks, it is very often only allowed to be repaired by the manufacturer. Parts and manuals are not readily direct to end consumers or even independent local repair shops.
House Bill 41 would require manufacturers to make parts, documentation, tools, and updates available on fair and reasonable terms. The Delaware Digital Right to Repair Act supports small businesses in Delaware and provides local skilled jobs, saves consumers money by fostering greater longevity in electronic consumer goods, while reducing the amount of electronics that prematurely become landfill fodder, and reducing carbon emissions through increased lifespan of consumer products.
Right to Repair legislation
· Guarantees that individuals have property rights over their electronics, so that they can repair them
· Ensuring equal access to critical repair information (schematics and manuals) and fair and reasonable access to parts and tools
Right to Repair is critical to waste prevention:
● E-waste is the fastest growing waste stream in the world
● Researchers estimate that e-waste is made up of 20% plastic, which is hard to recycle
● 416,000 cell phones are thrown out every day in the U.S.
If consumers had the right to repair their devices, the reuse of devices would reduce demand for natural resources
● Americans purchase 161 million new smartphones each year, meaning our cell phone habit takes 23.7 million tons of raw material to satisfy. That’s like consuming an Empire State Building equivalent in material every six days
● An iPhone 6 takes 295 lbs of raw minerals – 75 lbs of ore and 220 lbs water – to produce
Right to Repair helps mitigate climate change by reducing the energy consumed in the manufacturing phase of production.
● 85% of the emissions impact of a smartphone comes from production.
● If we held unto phones one more year on average, the emissions reductions would be equivalent to taking 636,000 cars off the road.
● One desktop uses up to 30 times its weight in fossil fuels.
Right to Repair reduces the flow of toxic waste into landfills and incinerators.
● E-waste accounts for 2% of the waste stream but 70% of it's toxicity.
● E-waste contains heavy metals such as lead, mercury and cadmium.
Electronics recycling has not alleviated the problem of e-waste.
● Only 36% of e-waste in the U.S. was recycled in 2017.
● While informal recycling of e-waste recycling has been linked to increased cases of cancer and other illness, even formal e-waste recycling can lead to increased exposure to health-threatening toxic metals.
House Bill 41: The Delaware Digital Right to Repair Act seeks to address this issue. Introduced in January 2023, HB41 is a bi-partisan bill under Prime Sponsor Rep. Ruth Briggs King. Once enacted, the Right to Repair bill will serve to support small businesses in Delaware and provide local skilled jobs, while reducing the amount of electronics that prematurely become landfill fodder, and reducing carbon emissions by increasing the longevity of consumer products
Email your Delaware state senator and representative and request their support of House Bill 41.
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