Consumers across Europe are getting a bad deal. Too many new products don’t last as long as they should, resulting in a huge waste of money and resources. Premature obsolescence is partly a result of market failure as it can be difficult for consumers to know whether a product is durable or not.
This analysis considers three products with simple problems that frustrate consumers: smartphones, washing machines and solar panels. It proposes new product standards for repairability and durability as the solution, and recommends that the EU’s circular economy policy package should set these ecodesign standards to ensure better products.