Our electronic devices take a serious environmental toll, and one of the best ways to mitigate that is to use them for as long as possible before replacing them. But it’s hard to know how long a new gadget will last if you’re unsure how easy it will be to fix. Now, companies are going to have to start coming clean about that — in France, at least.
In a world first move last month, France began requiring makers of certain electronic devices, including smartphones and laptops, to tell consumers how repairable their products are. Manufacturers selling these devices in France must give their products a score, or “repairability index,” based on a range of criteria including how easy it is to take the product apart and the availability of spare parts and technical documents. While France won’t be enforcing use of the index with fines until next year, some companies have already begun releasing scores for their products.