Wednesday, 11 March 2015

reklame oder reclamation

Just scant days after the French government legislated an expiry date for consumer electronics in order to combat designed obsolescence, when there’s no longer factory-support, Germany is attempting to take the measure a step further (DE/EN) by directing retail outlets to accept shoppers’ trade-ins—not for cash but as a more important civic-duty.

Larger electronic stores are required to accept customers’ smaller items, like old toasters, electric-toothbrushes and cell phones, in order to dispose of them properly and ensure valuable components are harvested and recycled—plus their bigger items like dishwashers and refrigerators, when buying a new one. This mandate extends to on-line shops as well. It’s perhaps easier to schlep one’s outmoded gadgets on the next shopping-outing rather than venture out to the special trash sort yard or feel guilty about stuffing it into the regular trash or kipping it off on the roadside, and though possibly a logistics horror for the sellers, to harness all the gold in circulation in everyone’s last phone and computer is a pretty nice prospect all around. Maybe, between the two laws, people will consume less just to toss away as the industry creates more items to endure and that can be upgraded rather than turned in. What do you think? Will this scheme be good for the environment as well as for business? I can imagine salvage really taking off.