top cx logo
cx logo
Explorearrow down
search icon
arrow down
Saturday 24 September 2022
inner cx logo
icon mailbox
Resident or second-home owner in France? Join our newsletter

Products to show ‘durability and repairability’ rating

In the latest move against the problem of “programmed obsolescence”, white goods and technology products are set to have a new sticker on their packaging, indicating how long their estimated “life” will be.

Planned obsolescence is the controversial practice of products deliberately being made to break after a short time, to encourage consumers to buy again, and has been a hotly-contested topic in recent years.

Now, from 2020, manufacturers will reportedly have the choice to add a sticker identifying the durability of the product, and its repairability, on a scale of 1 to 10.

The initiative will be voluntary, at least initially, and has been proposed by Brune Poirson, secretary of State for ecological transition.

The new stickers will appear alongside the products’ energy rating, with the intention being to allow consumers to see - at a glance - how economically- and ecologically-friendly a product is, as well as the how robust it is, and how easy it will be to fix should it break down unexpectedly.

The plan also intends to create QR codes (stickers that can be read instantly with a specific smartphone app), allowing consumers to compare labels, to see how much the product in question - including its manufacturing process - impacts the environment.

Alongside this, the government is also seeking to put in place a network of electronic device repair workshops, that would offer repair packages from a low initial price.

This is to address the problem of people who never consider that fixing their electronic device could be an option in the event of it breaking. For example, the average smartphone weighing around 300g requires an average of 70kg of natural resources to be made; and yet, when a phone breaks, in over 60% of cases, many consumers reportedly never even try to repair it, but simply buy a new one.

France has been a strong voice in the fight against programmed obsolescence in recent years, with notable moves including campaigns against the printing firm Epson, which stood accused of building its printers and cartridges to “deliberately fail”.

This new plan to introduce extra stickers on products has been welcomed by pressure groups.

Me Emile Meunier, lawyer for HOP (Halte à l'Obsolescence Programmée - Stop Programmed Obsolescence), said: “The intention here should be praised, because consumers will now be able to know how durable and repairable their products are,” speaking to Le Figaro.

However, the ticket proposal will still be voluntary, which, Meunier says, means that “only businesses that already behave virtuously” are likely to use the new sticker plan, and other, perhaps less scrupulous companies, would be unlikely to adopt the system.

Stay informed:
Sign up to our free weekly e-newsletter
Subscribe to access all our online articles and receive our printed monthly newspaper The Connexion at your home. News analysis, features and practical help for English-speakers in France

Resident or second-home owner in France?
Benefit from our daily digest of headlines and how-to's to help you make the most of life in France
By joining the newsletter, you agree to our Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy
See more popular articles
The Connexion Help Guides
featured helpguide
Healthcare in France*
Featured Help Guide
- Understand the French healthcare system, how you access it and how you are reimbursed - Useful if you are new to the French healthcare system or want a more in-depth understanding - Reader question and answer section Aimed at non-French nationals living here, the guide gives an overview of what you are (and are not) covered for. There is also information for second-home owners and regular visitors.
Get news, views and information from France
You have 2 free subscriber articles left
Subscribe now to read unlimited articles and exclusive content
Already a subscriber? Log in now