Washing machine, microwave, coffee maker, vacuum cleaner or hair dryer ... Our household appliances have an increasingly limited lifespan. In question: obsolescence, whether technical or psychological. What are the solutions against the premature aging of our equipment? How to act as a consumer? Nesrine Dani, Director Partnerships & Innovation and Envy The lab within the Envie Network, enlightens us.
Household appliances, an increasingly reduced lifespan
The scourge of planned obsolescence
For decades, our model of society is based on consumption. For major brands, producing more equivalent to more turnover. It is partly for this reason that many household appliances are under planned obsolescence.
L'HOP Association (Stop at planned obsolescence), distinguishes several types of obsolescence:
- Technical obsolescence, the best known. It is defined by irremovable or limited lifespan components.
- Indirect obsolescence. In this case, spare parts are inaccessible or removed from the market.
- Aesthetic or psychological obsolescence. It is born with the marketing of more efficient products, making the previous model obsolete.
- Software obsolescence, Present in certain connected household appliances.
The Envie network, which markets reconditioned devices, makes technical obsolescence every day. “Many manufacturers race for low-cost. The parts are less and less solid. For the small as for large household appliances, there are recurrent breakdowns, linked to specific parts such as capacitors ” Indicates Nesrine Dani.
The Envie network
Since 1984, the Envie network has been a mission to reconcile ecology and solidarity, accompanying people far from employment in the circular economy professions: collection, sorting, renovation and reparation. Today, the network has 52 integration companies and 54 stores, with reconditioned household appliances sold between 30 and 60 % cheaper than new and guaranteed for two years.
Consequences on humans and the environment
In addition to being frustrating for the consumer, obsolescence generates heavy repercussions on our society. With ever lower production costs, household appliances are produced in developing countries, where workers are very difficult working conditions.
Clearing of soils, elimination of vegetation, destruction of fertile land ... This race for production involves providing raw materials and rare metals. At the other end of the chain, thousands of tons of additional waste ends, incinerated or sent to the southern countries, responsible for dramatic pollution for biodiversity and human health.
What answers to obsolescence?
Take into account the lifespan of household appliances
To counter the negative effects of obsolescence, Manufacturers can turn to eco-design. This design method implies thinking about the lifespan of a product in its entirety. Objects have a higher cost for the manufacturer and the consumer, but are of better quality, easier to repair and maintain, and adapt to technological developments.
"Changing paradigm involves changing economic balance and transitioning to a circular model" specifies Nesrine Dani. Thanks to this new economy, it will be possible to envisage new types of local and non -relocatable jobs in reparation, services, sustainable development or even local agriculture.
Urban Kitchen vegetable gardens, a model of sustainable equipment
L'eco conception was obvious in the creation of our products. High quality raw materials, French manufacturing, reduction in energy needs ... Our vegetable gardens are durable, simple to maintain and repair!
The role of public authorities
Institutions have a crucial role to play in evolving towards a circular economy. In France, the energy transition law for green growth of August 17, 2015 sanctions planned obsolescence. The anti-winning law for a circular economy, voted in February 2020, provides for the gradual implementation of a product sustainability index.
The Reparation Fund, from the Agec law, allows citizens to reduce their bill and democratize the reparation. On the scale of Europe, the new regulation on eco -design for sustainable products, published on March 30, 2022, is positioned in favor of more circular and more sustainable products on the environment.
Nesrine Dani wonders: “Even if France is a precursor in this area, all these advances are timid. Are citizens armed enough to choose their devices via a sustainability index? Could we not imagine a technical control over household appliances, just like cars? ”
Act as a consumer
Maintain to prolong the lifespan of its household appliances
According to one ADEME study, 50 % to 70 % of breakdowns during the guarantee period of our equipment is due to a lack of maintenance or a lack of use. This is to say the importance of taking care of our electronic devices!
The Envie network first advises to read the instructions for using its device. Only 46 % of French people take the trouble to do so in full! "We also recommend creating alerts for maintenance: cleaning, change of filter, emptying ... You can also participate in practical workshops that we animate for free in our eco-local Enme le lab and document you thanks to our Practical sheets or those of Ademe ” insists Nesrine Dani.
Repair and buy reconditioned
Repair is one of the keys to lengthening the lifespan of its household appliances. But is it still possible to repair, at the time of obsolescence? “It is very rare not to be able to act on equipment. The major difficulty is to find trained personnel, especially to intervene on electronic cards. In France, there are very few training for repairers. Several schools have opened their doors in recent years, under the leadership of the manufacturers themselves. Want also develops his own school Envolvement of re -use and repair. It is nevertheless difficult to meet demand. ”
Many appliances essential for our daily lives. The most striking example: the washing machine. “Consumers prefer to get rid of their machine and go over new ones rather than wait during repair. It is for this reason that we offer equipment loan for repair time ” specifies Nesrine Dani.
Green Friday, are you?
THE Green Friday was initiated in 2017 by the Envie network to denounce the overconsumption generated by Black Friday, a day under the sign of sales and other super promotions. On this occasion, committed actors and businesses animate awareness workshops for sobriety, to make everyone want to consume more local, more sustainable and more responsible.
Deep modifications in our system and in our consumption behaviors are necessary to guarantee a greater lifespan of our household appliances. “By force of things, in the coming years there will be fewer resources available and therefore fewer electronic devices in circulation. Our reconditioning activities will leave a greater room for awareness -raising actions. We will evolve towards an economy of use, and, we hope, towards a happy sobriety ” concludes Nesrine Dani.