Abel, G. et al.Prolonging product life span und use by enforcing consumer rights

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Georg Abel, Christoph-Daniel Teusch, Miriam Kolodziej, Siddharth Prakash, Peter Gailhofer & Ina Rüdenauer

Release date:
July 2019

German Federal Environmental Agency UBA, Writings | 76/2019

Products and consumer habits of modern society in the 21st century have a significant impact on people and the environment. Recent studies show that more and more electrical and electronic equipment is being replaced prematurely, although it is still fully functional. In addition, the percentage of large household appliances being replaced in the first five years due to malfunctions is increasing. However, despite all the progress made in terms of energy efficiency, a longer service life of products is overall more environmentally friendly and saves more resources than buying a new appliance. A consumer survey conducted by the Öko-Institut e. V. (Institute for Applied Ecology) on behalf of the Federal Environment Agency also revealed that almost one in three consumers are dissatisfied with the life span of electronic products. On the other hand, a consumer survey conducted by Conpolicy on behalf of the Ministry of Consumer Protection of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia shows that an average of 60 percent of those surveyed lack knowledge of their rights as consumers – especially with regard to warranty rights and guarantee regulations. Consumers can contribute to prolonging the service life of products by making use of their consumer rights.

Thus, it is important to strengthen consumers' knowledge of their rights and basic environmental information in order to contribute to prolonging the service life of products.

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