Right To Repair

Californians generate 1.5 tons of e-waste every minute – the Right to Repair Act could change that

Staff | TPIN
CALPIRG State Director with Senator Susan Eggman, our partners at Californians Against Waste and the Electronic Frontier Foundation, and CALPIRG Students volunteers.

On Tuesday, CALPIRG was joined by state lawmakers and our partners at Californians Against Waste and the Electronic Frontier Foundation to elevate the urgent need for California to fix our laws so we can fix our stuff. 

Our state and country has an electronic waste problem.  Californian households alone throw away 46,000 cell phones every day and 1.5 tons of e-waste every minute. 

This is not only wasteful, but our e-waste pollutes.  When electronics start to break down in landfills, toxic metals and chemicals like lead and mercury can leach into nearby groundwater and contaminate our environment.

One reason for all this waste is that manufacturers of everything from smartphones to refrigerators restrict access to necessary repair materials, leaving us with few options when our stuff breaks. 

When our only option when our things break is to go to the original manufacturer, they can charge whatever they want or push us to buy new. 

We need more competition and consumer choice in the repair marketplace – and that’s where the Right to Repair Act comes into play. Senate Bill 244 by Senator Susan Eggman will give consumers what they need to fix our stuff, so we can keep our devices working longer, save money, and throw less away. Keeping things in use and out of the landfill will help to address our e-waste crisis and reduce the need for unnecessary mining and production. 

This month, the state legislature has the opportunity to help consumers and our planet by passing the Right to Repair Act. We can follow states like NY and MI that have already taken action and be a model for the rest of the country. 

CALPIRG pointed out the urgent need to pass the Right to Repair Act by bringing over 500 lbs of e-waste to the Capitol on Tuesday, which represents the amount Californians generate every 10 seconds. We need to act to reduce waste and the Right to Repair Act is a common sense solution that will benefit consumers and our environment.

State Director Jenn Engstrom showcases almost 500 lbs of e-wastePhoto by Staff | TPIN

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