Waste disposal, recycling, reuse e planned obsolescence. That 'here the cat hatches us' are beginning to think so and on closer inspection there are some reasons: why did the appliances of the past last for decades and those of today break down faster? Why have repairers gone extinct and the price of new products has reached such low levels that 'it is better to buy a new one' rather than fix it? And why in the meantime, and here we want to be mischievous, the waste industry becomes one of the most important on the planet?
Once objects aged on their own, now insteadobsolescence could be scheduled. This means that those who build a washing machine, for example, know from the beginning that in a few years that object will fail, or everything will be done to put it 'out of fashion', and the consumer will be pushed to buy another one, also worrying about disposing of the old one. .
Who is it suitable for? L'planned obsolescence, which is not a new concept since the definition dates back to 1932, it is convenient for producers to ensure constant production as a result of the replacement. Sometimes, and here the game gets dirty and very current, it is the same producers who flaunt their commitment to waste disposal, a sector and activity in which they care about being well present.
It can be done? A strategy of planned obsolescence it can be implemented in a legal way, but it is never fair to the consumer. It is not illegal to market products made with low quality materials, which wear out quickly or have no spare parts, nor is it illegal to implement marketing campaigns that encourage replacement every two years by focusing on fashion or emotional factors. Fairness and common sense are another thing.
Through theplanned obsolescence, made of poor products programmed to break but also low prices (which makes it acceptable by consumers especially in times of crisis), it ends up encouraging the throwaway chain that fuels the waste industry to excess. Production needs disposal and the latter, which in turn becomes a business, always needs rapid production. It is the cat that eats its tail, with disastrous effects for the environment.
About theplanned obsolescence there are those who have started talking about 'crime against the environment' and luckily the spotlights have turned on. Last June the French parliament received the proposal signed by consumer and environmentalist associations for the extension of the warranty of household appliances, which even proposes the institution of the crime of planned obsolescence. Even in Germany the Greens are working on it and, on the strength of a study carried out by experts, they argue that theplanned obsolescence it takes 100 billion euros a year from the pockets of German consumers.
And in Italy? A bill against theplanned obsolescence the SEL group presented it (October 2013) to the production activities, trade and tourism commission of the Chamber of Deputies. The content, as in the case of the previous French one, is based on the extension of the product warranty, from 2 to 5 years for consumer goods except for those for which the life cycle is necessarily greater than at least 10 years (household appliances and cars for example). We also ask for guarantees on the availability of spare parts, the possibility of repairs and penalties for manufacturers who do not adapt.