EU to Require Phone, Tablet Makers to Stock Parts for Years

A coming EU regulation could require hardware to stock parts for smartphones and tablets for at least five years after they’re removed from the market.

“This initiative … aims to ensure that mobile phones and tablets are designed to be energy efficient and durable, consumers can easily repair, upgrade and maintain them, [and] it is possible to reuse and recycle the devices,” a description of a draft version of the regulation reads.

The European Commission has published this draft publicly and is seeking feedback during a four-week period.

According to the draft, the regulation is due to a “steep increase in the demand for smartphones and tablets” which has “resulted in increased demand for energy and materials needed to manufacture these devices on the EU market, accompanied by an increase in their associated environmental impacts.

The EU also notes that these devices “are often replaced prematurely by users and are, at the end of their useful life, not sufficiently reused or recycled, leading to a waste of resources.” And so it seeks to prevent their premature obsolescence and enhance the repairability of key components like batteries and displays, plus their future recyclability.

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