It’s no secret that the rise of smartphones has led to a significant increase in e-waste generated across the world. Greenpeace, an organisation that has been campaigning against environmental degradation, and iFixit, which sells specialised tools to repair gadgets, have released a new report that documents the repairability of the smartphones, tablets, and laptops that we use.
Some of the world’s biggest technology companies such as Apple, Microsoft, and Samsung have products with extremely poor repairability scores. According to Greenpeace, this is bad for the environment because if it’s hard to repair a gadget, it’s likely to end up as e-waste sooner. Even though some of the world’s biggest tech companies are taking steps to avoid harming the environment, there’s still a long way to go.
In its report, Greenpeace says, “Devices that can be easily disassembled for repair are also easier to disassemble for re-use and recycling – the next stage of a product’s life – once it is no longer possible to use the whole product anymore. Components can be used again and, if not, recycled to recover the valuable raw materials.”
The 27-page report is divided into three sections — smartphones, tablets, and laptops. Greenpeace and iFixit chose 44 gadgets from some of the world’s most popular technology companies to check whether they’re easy to repair. They checked things like how easy it is to remove the display and whether components can be replaced easily, apart from looking for a repair manual for the product.