Release: New bill would make electronics easier to fix, reducing e-waste

Media Contacts
Sander Kushen

Former Consumer Advocate, CALPIRG

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Sen. Susan Talamantes Eggman introduced the Right to Repair Act (Senate Bill 244) late Wednesday, a bill to provide Californians the resources they need to fix electronics, keeping electronic waste out of the scrap heap and money in consumers’ pockets. Similar to other repair legislation around the country, the bill would address the growing problem of unrepairable consumer and electronic products, ranging from cell phones to home appliances. 

“I’m excited by the progress across the nation on ensuring access to repair and I think we have a real opportunity to pass the strongest Right to Repair law here in California,” said Senator Eggman. “Letting people fix their stuff is simply the right thing to do.”

With the recent passage of the nation’s first electronic Right to Repair bill in New York, advocates and repair businesses are hopeful that this is the year for California to do the same. If passed, Eggman’s bill would actually go even further than New York’s bill, making it easier to fix an even wider range of products, including appliances like refrigerators and washing machines.

“Sure, Right to Repair has passed in New York, but we know we can do it better in the Golden State,” said Sander Kushen, advocate for CALPIRG. “Frankly, we need to do better. Californians throw away some 46,000 cell phones every single day, and e-waste has become the fastest growing waste stream in the world. We owe it to both the public and the planet to pass Right to Repair.”

Easier access to repair would also bring much-needed economic relief in the midst of rising prices. A recent report found that Californian families could save $330 per year by repairing electronics themselves or using independent repair shops, adding up to a total savings of $4.3 billion across the state.

Right to Repair is widely supported by Californians on both the right and left. The bill is co-sponsored by CALPIRG, iFixit and Californians Against Waste.

“The passage of the New York law demonstrates that there is nationwide economic and environmental urgency to extend digital rights to consumers and clear landfills from electronics and appliances waste, which is the fastest growing waste stream,” said Clara Vazeix, Policy Analyst for Californians Against Waste.  “California has been leading the way in the Right to Repair movement for years and is more than ready to pass SB 244 and put an end to throwaway culture.”

“Winning the Right to Repair in California would be huge: Twelve percent of Americans live in California, and it’s Silicon Valley’s home turf,” said Liz Chamberlain, Director of Sustainability for iFixit. “The passage of the New York bill means that electronics manufacturers must prepare to get repair parts, tools, and information to people—and so there’s no better time to ask them to extend those things to Californians, too. We have an opportunity with SB 244 to close loopholes and eliminate exclusions of the New York bill and win a true digital Right to Repair in 2023.”

staff | TPIN

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