Personal electronic devices are a huge part of our daily lives from phones to laptops and beyond. But the unfortunate truth is as these devices get more and more advanced they also tend to become more complicated. Things go wrong a lot, and companies have made it purposefully difficult to repair these things ourselves. These practices often make it easier to buy something new than fix what we have, which while great for a corporation's bottom line, tends to be pretty awful for the Earth.
That's why there's a huge movement fighting for what's called the right to repair. Consumers are demanding devices be made with repairability in mind, from accessibility to parts to not making it impossible to open a shell without breaking it. This movement has gained increased traction in the US, where a supporting Act has made it to the state senate in California.
The California Public Interest Research Group reports that the legislation has passed The California Senate Appropriations Committee and is moving onto the next step to be judged by the state senate. It was put forward by Sen Susan Eggman and aims to give Californians greater access to tools, parts, and information required to repair their own electronics or even seek repair from third parties.
Right to repair has been gaining traction across the United States with President Biden showing support and states like New York, Colorado, where bills have been passed and states like Minnesota and now California seem set to follow. This all spells great news for sustainability in tech and hopefully less waste in unneeded over production.
California is also a huge get for the movement, especially if this proposal makes it through the state's judgements. Opening up the right to repair in the heart of Silicon Valley could have massive cultural changes for the way we look at consumer electronics. Having parts and information available to one of the most prominent tech hubs in the world could really impact the way the rest of the world sees electronics.
Hopefully this will lead to greater thought when manufacturing devices with repairability requirements too. It would be great if glued in batteries and unnecessarily soldered in parts become a thing of the past. Companies like Microsoft have promised to look into this as they develop future products.
As someone with a dead GPU that's so covered in unnecessarily stuck on bits of plastic that I can't even attempt to repair it, manufacturing with right to repair in mind definitely sounds like a brighter tech future we should be aiming for.