To buy new or to repair – this is the question. When a used electronic stops working, consumers have these two choices. Unfortunately, we live in a world now where many expect instant gratification. Instead of putting money into an item in hopes of fixing it, many people rationalize. They prefer to just put that money into a new and more updated product. When this happens, the old item needs disposing of. This includes having the electronic go through a recycling process or sent to a waste landfill. Hopefully, never the latter.
This article shows that Sweden’s government is looking into giving their residents a tax break for repair. So if a resident chooses to have their item recycled, as opposed to throwing it away, the tax break will make their time and efforts more worthwhile. Instead of putting more money into a new item, they will spend less for the repair, as well as additional money with a cut in taxes. Therefore, they will have more cash in their pockets, a product that works, and the landfills less crowded. This is a win, win, win.
However, whose responsibility is it to make this win? Is it the manufacturer or retailer who needs to make sure that the item is taken care of appropriately when it hits the end of life? Is it the consumer’s responsibility to make sure that all items they have are disposed of correctly? This makes it difficult when repair or recycling are not easy, cheap, or convenient. Or is it the responsibility of the government? Should it be the government that makes sure that the land and earth are taken care of? Also, that owners do not dump their electronic items at a landfill, only to leave toxic waste.
We all know the answer is that it’s everyone’s responsibility. To keep our planet green, and non-hazardous, every associated party needs to take part and take responsibility. This electronic repair or recycling process should be easy, convenient, and just as common as the garbage truck that has a weekly pick-up in our city neighborhoods. If we all work together, and find a way for it to be beneficial and easy for all, our planet will thrive and last longer.