The party wants a "right to repair" and more "repair cafes".
The Green Party of England and Wales has promised to end the “throwaway economy” with a new suite of policies designed to encourage repair and reuse.
At a workshop space in south London, the party announced two key policies: enacting a “Right to Repair” and developing “Repair Cafes”.
A comprehensive “Right to Repair” will require manufacturers to keep goods operational for years after purchase and encourage repair and reuse. The practice of producing goods with the deliberate intention that they will become obsolete within a few years time will be banned.
Repair Cafés are free meeting places with the tools, materials, advice and volunteers necessary to fix things like clothes, bicycles, electrical appliances and furniture.
The party said these cafes will give local communities the skills and tools to repair, upgrade and customise their belongings. Using and borrowing equipment will give people access to expensive items such as power tools and sewing machines.
Based on figures from WRAP, this policy could save the average UK household around £800 a year, which is the value of electrical equipment thrown out and replaced.
Sian Berry, Co-Leader of the Green Party, said:
“From the coffee cup you chuck in the bin, to the smartphone you upgrade year after year, disposability is at the heart of our economic model. And we all know it’s not right. It doesn’t feel right. It doesn’t make us happy. Nobody wants to add to the mountains of junk choking our natural world.”
“Today, we are pleased to propose a real Right to Repair, which would make it a legal requirement for companies to lengthen the lifespan of their products, make spare parts available, and build them in ways which can be fixed by everyday tools.
“This is an essential step towards cutting waste and going net-zero by 2030, and none of the other parties are even talking about it.”
Amelia Womack, Deputy Leader of the Green Party, said:
“Today, we’re excited to pledge that Greens will support the creation of a repair cafe on every high street in Britain.
“Our high stress have been devastated over the last ten years. We need to rebuild the fabric of our communities. Repair cafes are just one step to deliver innovative ideas that support people’s needs and save people money, while helping the environment”
The European Union is introducing a “right to repair” directive in 2021 but the Green Party has said its “right to repair” will be much more extensive.
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