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ETIRA joins MEPs in calling for consumers’ ‘Right to Repair’

December 2, 2020

The European Toner and Inkjet Remanufacturers Association (ETIRA) has joined MEPs in calling on the EU Commission to grant consumers a ‘right to repair’, by making repairs to printing hardware and consumables more systematic and cost-efficient.  

The organisation’s plea follows the European Parliament’s endorsement of Right to Repair, with MEPs voting in favour of boosting sustainability by promoting reuse and repairs, and by tackling practices that shorten the lifespan of products, adopting the resolution on a more sustainable Single Market.

Javier Martinez, President of ETIRA, said: “ETIRA welcomes the European Parliament’s endorsement of the Right to Repair. The vote marks a very positive step towards a more green and circular economy built on sustainability.  

“A stronger reuse and second-hand goods market for imaging consumables can create thousands more jobs across Europe and, to see the Parliament’s call for measures to tackle practices that shorten the lifetime of a product, while endorsing sustainable production, is fantastic.

“We stand alongside the MEPs’ endorsement and call on the European Commission to make repairs more appealing and cost-effcient, whether by extending guarantees, providing guarantees for replaced parts or giving better access for consumers when it comes to information on repair and maintenance.

“It is vital that our industry is considered as a ‘hotspot’ when it comes to implementing legislation around this important topic and, also, important to ensure that new build cartridges are covered by the Right to Repair.”

ETIRA’s call comes just weeks after the organisation issued a detailed response to the EU’s draft Voluntary Agreement for Imaging Equipment.

Martinez, added: “ETIRA strives for a world in which sustainable products, services and business models are the norm. Our aim is to secure greater government support for remanufacturing, reuse and recycling within the printing industry, as a key part of policies.

“Both the European Parliament’s endorsement of the Right to Repair and the draft Voluntary Agreement mark positive steps forward but more needs to be done to support our industry and reduce its environmental footprint.”

One of the main barriers to effective reuse in the imaging consumables market are firmware updates that lock out reuse products and shorten the effective life of the consumable.

Commenting on the European Parliament’s stance on this barrier, Martinez, said: “We endorse the Parliament’s call for corrective updates to continue throughout the estimated lifespan of the device. Also, that corrective updates should be kept separate from evolutive updates, but both must be reversible, and updates should not dimmish the performance or responsiveness of the goods. Users must be able to quickly roll-back any update that locks out remanufactured cartridges.

“We also welcome setting up a system of mandatory labelling on consumer electronics to provide explicit information on the repairability and lifespan of products.”

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