From 10 euros for a kettle or a toaster to 45 euros for a computer: the French will benefit from a bonus to have their electrical and electronic appliances repaired. The scale of this repair fund, provided for by the anti-waste law for a circular economy (AGEC) promulgated in 2020, was unveiled on Tuesday, November 15. It will enter into force on December 15, with a first series of devices concerned, followed by other categories of equipment from 2024. Endowed with 410 million euros for six years, its financing is provided by manufacturers, via eco-organizations responsible for managing the end of life of devices.
From mid-December, individuals will be able to go to one of the first 500 approved repairers (labeled “QualiRépar”), and benefit from a fixed discount on their broken drone or hood. Among the thirty or so types of eligible appliances: filter coffee machine, iron (10 euros), vacuum cleaner, drill/screwdriver, DVD player, home cinema, musical instrument, bicycle, scooter (15 euros), games, enclosure (20 euros), wine cellar, washing machine, fridge/freezer, tablet, mobile phone (25 euros), television, video projector (30 euros).
The year 2024 will open to fryers, printers, food processors and other microwave ovens. In 2025, mobile air conditioners, hair dryers, fans, etc. will be included. Products under warranty (legal, commercial, or via insurance) will be excluded. Simply go to the ecosystem.eco website to identify a network of repairers participating in the device, immediately deducted from the invoice.
The number of approved repairers must also be extended: 1,500 are expected by 2023, and 10,000 by 2027, with all types represented (independent, after-sales service manufacturers, after-sales service distributors). To obtain the “QualiRépar” label, granted for three years, all must have submitted their application to a certifying body (Bureau Veritas, SGS or AFNOR), and responded to a reference system (skills, price transparency, etc.). As Le Parisien reminds us, for a repairer to be certified, he must systematically issue an estimate. However, the vast majority of repair companies only have one person, and the professionals therefore lack the time to draw up an estimate.
The aim of this unprecedented boost is to extend the life of equipment and reduce waste. With this repair bonus, the objective is to increase by 20% the number of electrical and electronic devices repaired each year in France, from 10 million to 12 million by 2027, while 90% of breakdowns are not not repaired today. About 1.5 billion pieces of electrical and electronic equipment circulate in France.
“This bonus responds to a logic of purchasing power, to reduce the cost of the repair”, explains to AFP Nathalie Yserd, general manager of Ecosystem, which manages this fund with another eco-organization, Ecologic. “The psychological threshold above which he will prefer to buy a new object is estimated between 25-30%. The objective is therefore to approach it”, also underlines Nathalie Yserd.
“Anything that contributes to increasing the lifespan of products benefits the environment, by avoiding reclaiming natural resources”, adds Nathalie Yserd, however approaching “with humility” a device “precursor in Europe”. “If the fund is overwhelmed, it will be good news, a sign that the French are convinced by the extension of the lifespan”, she also advances to the Parisian. “It’s interesting for a start, considers with the Parisian Laëtitia Vasseur, co-founder and general delegate of the HOP association (Halte à l’Obsolescence Programmetée) which campaigned for the creation of a fund pushing for repair. We are very happy to see it finally implemented!”
“All the nudges that can help with the repair are favorable”, also underlines to AFP Alice Elfassi, legal manager of Zero Waste France. However, she considers this amount “far lower than what was hoped for”. This NGO, along with Friends of the Earth, filed an appeal with the Council of State for the annulment of the decree creating the fund. The associations deplore a halving of the financial envelope, after intense discussions between the parties: the State has reduced from 20% to 10% the minimum rate of support for repairs. According to the two eco-organizations, the fixed prices should correspond to approximately 20% of the average cost of repair.
Emilie Lecuyer, manager of Maison chartraine, which sells and repairs household appliances near Chartres, hopes with AFP that this bonus “will help the repair process”. “We have to stop wasting! I prefer to make it last 5 more years, and if the customer is happy, in 5 years he will buy from me. People need to be accompanied, it brings back people, know-how do”, explains this manager, who is among the first 500 approved repairers.
And even if some devices are not unscrewable, or are molded in one piece, “brands always allow repair”, she notes. A “repairability index” is thus gradually being implemented in France on certain equipment, to help the consumer in his choice at the time of purchase.