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Lawmakers in GA push for repair scores to reduce e-waste

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Tuesday, December 19, 2023   

Legislators in Georgia and across the country are demanding more information for residents about longevity and repairability of tech devices, which they said is critical in promoting transparency and addressing the environmental impact of electronic waste.

The call for action came in a letter signed by 58 state legislators from 28 states. The letter was organized by the U.S. Public Interest Research Group and pushed for the development of voluntary repair scores for laptops, phones and other tech products.

Lucas Gutterman, campaign director for the group, said consumers often face a lack of information regarding whether a product is long-lasting or easily fixable.

"Repair scores solve that problem," Gutterman contended. "They create transparency in the marketplace. They're like an energy guide label for repairability that gives us a 1 through 10 score that tells you how fixable that product is before you buy it."

He explained some states have already introduced bills to include repair scores on products, but they are asking the Federal Trade Commission to make it a nationwide standard. Rep. Marvin Lim, D-Norcross, and Rep. Lydia Glaize, D-Fairburn, signed on in support.

Gutterman noted the repair scores go beyond giving consumers what they need to make sure their devices have longevity and could be a major player in pushing companies to make longer-lasting products, saving customers money and helping protect the environment.

"Because it reduces electronic waste," Gutterman emphasized. "Which is the world's fastest growing waste stream and can be very difficult to recycle, having really negative effects on our environment."

He added repair scores have already been adopted in other countries, allowing consumers to see factors such as the availability of spare parts, ease of repair and manufacturer support.


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