Our unstoppable tendency to change smartphones (not always when strictly necessary) and their certainly not infinite duration, contribute to the worsening of our already bruised planet.
Elsewhere, in various articles, we have dealt, for example, with the impact of the enormous given by the daily use of small and large technological devices. Suffice it to say that every day we throw something like 78 million batteries in the trash.
The estimate is that in 2025 there will be nearly one trillion (or one billion billion) objects connected to the Internet globally.
How to intervene, at least with regard to mobile phones? Of course, the best solution would be to make sure that our phones are as green as possible.
The draft of the European Union regulation on eco-sustainable smartphones goes in this direction. But there are no small doubts about the realization of this noble project.
Before the EU draft proposed regulation on a continental level, some initiatives by individual companies had already been seen in recent times.
Among these, for example, we mention the new type of chip developed by MIT (the Massachusetts Institute of Technology). These are modular chips that, thanks to artificial intelligence, hook up to existing processors, update them and improve their performance.
The European Union proposal
But here it is, for the first time, the idea of eco-sustainable smartphones is being embraced by the European Unionwhich has published a draft regulation in this regard.
The reason is expressed in the draft itself: “The sharp increase in demand for smartphones and tablets, combined with their new features, has led to an increase in the demand for energy and materials, accompanied by an increase in the associated environmental impact. Furthermore, devices are often replaced prematurely by users and, at the end of their useful life, are not sufficiently reused or recycled, resulting in a waste of resources. “
Let’s find out the main news contained in the document. And also its implementation difficulties.
The label: repairability score and more
One of the novelties of the hypothetical eco-sustainable smartphones is given by the repairability score.
The measure entered into force in France as early as January 1, 2021, under the name of Repairability Index. It is a label that informs consumers of the ease with which they can repair any damage suffered by the appliance. In France, the score ranges from 1 to 10 and covers ten parameters.
The label of eco-friendly smartphones will also contain other information. Such as, for example, the energy class and battery life. But also the ability to withstand falls, water and even dust.
In short: an implicit incentive (but not too much) to make users buy products that are better repairable and more eco-sustainable. And an invitation to all smartphone manufacturers to update themselves in this sense.
The guarantee of 100 falls
Speaking of producers, if the draft results in a regulation, companies will have to pay close attention. Because eco-sustainable smartphones will have to be able to withstand even 100 drops without losing functionality.
Furthermore, the cost of spare parts must be guaranteed, as well as the total cancellation of personal data must be guaranteed, before entrusting the smartphone to companies that recondition the devices for their reuse.
Repair will be easier
Another important news: 12 months after the draft enters into force, the main spare parts must be available “up to 5 years after the date of placing on the market”.
18 months after the draft becomes operational, however, it will be necessary to ensure that the body and battery are easily removable by the user. Unless the phone has a very high quality battery that after 500 charge and discharge cycles, even with fast charging, still retains 83% of the remaining charge. And that after 1000 cycles it maintains 80% of residual charge.
The cost problem
It is quite clear that these updates (and other contents in the 52 draft pages) will cause an inevitable increase in the prices of smartphones, because they are eco-sustainable.
Price which, of course, will fall on consumers. Perhaps only Apple, in a few months, could adapt relatively easily to these regulations. But only because Apple products already have… Apple prices.
The obligation to keep spare parts for 5 years, then, in all likelihood will lead to a reduction in the number of models that will come out.
The visionary proposal of the European Union, therefore, will perhaps be reformulated in the light of these simple arguments.