Do you know the Repair association? This is an organization created by the iFixit staff (which you may already know from the numerous repair guides and teardowns performed on virtually every electronic device launched in recent years) dedicated to monitoring the repair industry and raising awareness of the delicate issue of the need for companies to make “repairable” products that goes far beyond the convenience of the user and touches on business. even more fundamental, such as the environment.
Today, one of the organization's leaders, engineering standards expert Mark Schaffer, has published a long report (PDF) on the Repair Association's official website raising a very punctual question. According to the professional, technology companies around the world have been responsible for a "relaxation" in the criteria that make a product be considered "green" or environmentally responsible.
Why? Well, according to Schaffer, it's just the tech companies that have the biggest voice (or maybe even the only voice) when deciding on these standards. Or, more specifically, executives of these companies have so many seats on the boards that set the environmental standards for the products themselves that decide the rules that, in an ideal world, should be created and maintained by a totally uninteresting organization. economical.
Because of this influence, the report says, companies like Apple, Sony and Samsung can launch products with near zero repairability and yet boast around the world about how environmentally concerned they are after all, by official standards, of course, they are abiding by all the rules and making the world a better and cleaner place. In practice, we know that this is not exactly how the band plays: the culture of "broke, changed" has completely settled in products and society, and therefore pollution from electronic waste has risen considerably in recent years.
Schaffer d as an example the default UL 110, which awards “points” to smartphones according to their “repairability index”. Devices such as the iPhone 7 and the Galaxy S8 have received a "gold" rating in the standard, when various points of their engineering such as the sealed battery and extensive use of glue on their interiors should, according to the expert, guarantee at most a "bronze". ”For appliances. In addition, various other aspects of UL 110 regarding reuse and recycling practices would be totally "capped" in the words of the report.
While manufacturers are in control of the standards, repair issues will not be resolved.
In the end, the question: It is undeniable that Apple makes sincere or marketing efforts, whether in various areas to minimize the environmental impact of its products. The company itself makes a point of highlighting this on its website and all of its keynotes. Notwithstanding this, however, we should turn a blind eye to an aspect where the company and the industry as a whole have put their extremely powerful finger on making their lives easier, boosting their profits and, as a side effect, hampering consumers' lives and damaging them. the environment.
The ideal solution would be, as I have already said, that these regulations should be made by a totally detached body of such companies after all, as Schaffer himself says, "as long as manufacturers are in control of the standards, problems with repairs will not be solved." . As this is a very ubiquitous perspective, however, we have to keep an eye out and give preference to companies that have done their work the hardest.