Open Letter to the European Union: The Critical Raw Materials Act Must Ensure Effective Social, Environmental and Governance Safeguards and Provide Meaningful Participation

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Dear Commissioners,
Dear Honourable Members of the European Parliament,
Dear Ministers,

We, movements, Indigenous Peoples, and Civil Society Organizations, particularly but not exclusively from resource-rich countries in the Global South, are very concerned due to the lack of strong due diligence terminology and safeguards for the sourcing of raw materials in the Critical Raw Materials Act and other related legislation.

We, in resource-rich countries, are already experiencing the double impacts of the climate crisis, on one hand via the effects of climate change itself and on the other hand from the increase in mining and renewable technologies infrastructure resulting from decarbonisation plans of rich countries. The EU’s decarbonisation ambition is laudable, but to be just and fair, it has to follow the rule of law and its associated legislations have to adhere to the highest standards, including the respect of human
rights, Indigenous Peoples’ rights and environmental protection, not only within the European Union, but in other resource-rich countries – including our lands and communities.

The Critical Raw Materials Act and other related legislation, such as the Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive, among others, will have a direct impact on our health and well-being, cultural practices, traditions and values, livelihoods, and environment. People are regularly killed attempting to safeguard the environment we rely on.

For this reason, we ask you to take a human rights-based approach to decarbonisation and ensure that all rights holders and stakeholders in resource-rich countries, not only governments and the private sector, are involved in the process in a full and meaningful way. More specifically, we ask you to set the following minimum conditions for strategic projects and the sourcing of raw materials from resource-rich countries:

1) Respect human rights, Indigenous rights and adhere to international human and environmental rights legislation, agreements, and standards, including the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, ILO Conventions as well as the full Aarhus convention, the Escazú agreement as well as the EU Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive. The CRMA should ensure that companies adhere to strict mandatory Human Rights and Environmental Due Diligence.

2) Ensure that strategic partnerships are formed and run in a democratic manner
Negotiations for strategic partnerships should be announced in a timely fashion and agreements with resource-rich countries should be disclosed prior to approval. The CRMA should address the high corruption risk in the mining sector.

3) Meaningful participation and accountability
Rights holders, especially Indigenous Peoples, civil society organisations and local communities, must have a stake in the governance of the CRMA and should be able to participate in the definition and monitoring of strategic projects and partnerships.

4) Minimum requirements for strategic projects
The environmental and social impacts of mining and other projects related to the energy transition should be assessed during the permitting process and projects cannot go ahead without concerned Indigenous Peoples’ Free, Prior Informed Consent.

Companies participating in strategic projects should have in place a clear, easily accessible, and safe grievance mechanism and a history of human rights abuses or environmental destruction should lead to the exclusion of companies. There should be a mechanism to facilitate access to justice for victims of corporate abuse and strict
sanctions for companies that fail their due diligence obligations. Instead of using self-regulation through certification schemes, companies must be monitored by governments and a neutral third party.

5) Respect our cultural practices, traditions and values, our lifestyles, and our environment
Strategic projects should respect no-go zones, including protected areas, the deep-sea, and sacred sites. Regulations on conflict minerals and minerals extracted through forced or child labour must be enforced and adopted respectively.

6) We should not just be treated as raw material suppliers
Set clear goals and clarify what it means to add value through strategic partnerships. Furthermore, support the development of our countries through climate finance, knowledge and technology transfer, the provision for local procurement and ensuring that companies pay taxes in host countries and create decent jobs.

7) Take responsibility for reducing the EU’s own consumption
In turn, this will reduce the demand for raw materials from our countries. Taking these concerns into account will be crucial to ensure climate and resource justice on a global scale. The CRMA could be an opportunity for the European Union to promote a just energy transition that pays off the historical ecological debt owed to the countries of the Global South and respects their
development models.

We urge you to take these recommendations into consideration, as the policy decisions regarding the Critical Raw Materials Act will have a large impact on our lives.



– AbibiNsroma Foundation
– Action Mines Guinée
– African Resources Watch (AFREWATCH)
– Aksi Ekologi & Emansipasi Rakyat (AEER), Indonesia
– Alliance Voahary Gasy (AVG)
– alterNativa Intercanvi amb Pobles Indígenes
– Alyansa Tigil Mina (ATM)
– Asia Dalit Rights Forum (ADRF)
– Bench Marks Foundation
– Cadre de Concertation de la société civile de l’Ituri sur les Ressources Naturelles
– CartoCrítica (México)
– Centre congolais pour le droit du développement durable (CODED)
– Centro de Análisis Socioambiental (CASA}, Chile
– Christi – Perú
– Coalition des Organisations de la Société Civile pour le Suivi des Réformes et de l’Action Publique
– Coalition Nationale de Plaidoyer Environnemental (CNPE)
– Coalition Publiez Ce Que Vous Payez-Mali (PCQVP-MALI)
– Comité Nacional pro Defensa de la Fauna y Flora
– CooperAcción
– Cordillera Women’s Education Action Research Center (CWEARC)
– Corporate Europe Observatory
– Crudo Transparente
– Cultural Survival
– Debt Observatory in Globalisation (ODG)
– Derecho Ambiente y Recursos Naturales
– Ecosistemas
– Engenera, A.C.
– Enginyeria sense Fronteres
– Focus Association for Sustainable Development
– Forest Peoples Programme
– Forests of the World
– Fundación Ciudadanía y Desarrollo – TI Ecuador
– Fundación Foro Nacional por Colombia – Capítulo Suroccidente
– Fundación Terram
– Funprosperiti Guatecivica
– Future-Prenuers Zambia (FPSZ)
– Global Witness
– Grupo Propuesta Ciudadana
– Indonesia for Global Justice (IGJ)
– Interamerican Association for Environmental Defense -AIDA
– – Organitzacions per a la Justícia Global
– Legisladores x el Ambiente ALC
– Natural Resource Governance Institute (NRGI)
– Observatoire d’Etudes et d’Appui à la Responsabilité Sociale et Environnementale (OEARSE)
– Observatorio Petrolero Sur
– Pakistan Development Alliance
– Perkumpulan HuMa Indonesia
– Philippine Rural Reconstruction Movement
– Pole Institute (DR Congo)
– Policy Forum Guyana
– Publiez Ce Que Vous Payez Madagascar
– Publish What You Pay Zambia
– Red de Información y Acción Ambiental de Veracruz, México
– Réseau panafricain de lutte contre la corruption “UNIS”
– Resource Matters
– Satya Bumi
– Securing Indigenous Peoples Rights in the Green Economy (SIRGE) Coalition
– SETEM Catalunya
– Solidaritat Castelldefels Kasando
– Southern Africa Human Rights Defenders Network
– Spaces for Change
– Transparency International Initiative Madagascar
– Transparency International Zambia
– Trend Asia
– Universidad nacional de Colombia, Facultad de minas Medellín, Centro de pensamiento responsabilidad y sostenibilidad minera

A Turning Point: The Critical Raw Materials Act’s needs to be truly socially and environmentally just

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We support the position promoted by more than 40 civil society organisations, to demand that the Critical First Raw Material Act have a fair social and green transition.

The 21st century demands global efforts to address the multiple social and environmental crises that we are facing, which also negatively impacts the economy. Solutions exist, but demand political will (such as product ecodesign legislation or singular use product bans), and a political discourse to develop new tools (such as energy production limits) for transformative, equitable change that brings humanity comfortably back within planetary boundaries. 

Most of the converging social and environmental crises we are facing are a result of the over-consumption of resources. This is driven by unsustainable production and consumption patterns in increasingly unequal societies, regardless of the level of development of any given country.

We present this Position Paper, by more than 40 civil society organisations, which delves into the main issues that arise within this context in regard to the Critical Raw Materials Act (CRMA) and provides key recommendations.

  1. The EU should actively reduce its dependence on primary raw materials and implement demand-side solutions to decrease critical raw materials consumption by at least 10% by 2030, including phasing out single-use products containing critical raw materials, implementing a material passport system, and adopting national programs to promote material efficiency and the use of alternative materials.
  2. The CRMA should not rely solely on certification schemes, as certification alone does not guarantee compliance with mandatory human rights and environmental regulations; instead, a broader assessment of human rights and environmental performance should be conducted. If certification schemes are used as one tool of many, they have to include certain criteria as minimum a multi-stakeholder governance, adherence to comprehensive standards, disclosure rules, accessible grievance mechanisms, and public audit reports.
  3. The CRMA’s focus on EU supply security through partnerships lacks a global justice approach. Including concrete measures to ensure sustainability standards, civil society participation, and the protection of human rights and the environment in third countries. Our recommendations include aligning partnerships with international agreements, implementing robust monitoring and remediation mechanisms, defining “value addition,” supporting domestic industrialisation, involving civil society and Indigenous Peoples, ensuring transparency, and avoiding the undermining of commitments through other regulations or trade agreements.
  4. The CRMA’s focus on accelerating permitting procedures for Strategic Projects risks bypassing environmental and social safeguards and lacks public buy-in. Streamlined permitting must not come at the cost of environmental protection, meaningful public participation. Incorporating elements like Free, Prior, and Informed Consent (FPIC) and Indigenous rights must be at the center of strategic projects. Additionally, resources to licensing authorities have to be allocated, international agreements referenced, transparency ensured and a subgroup on sustainability and responsible mining within the European Critical Raw Materials Board established. Deep-sea mining due to potential environmental and social impacts has to be prohibited.
  5. For the success of the European Green Deal and the EU’s strategic autonomy, it is crucial to prioritise a circular economy approach in the CRMA. This includes implementing an ambitious recycling strategy, enhancing coherence with the waste hierarchy, increasing EU recycling capacity targets, improving collection and separation of critical raw materials (CRM)-containing components, proposing recycled content targets for all CRM-containing products, incorporating measures for public procurement, and ensuring that the recovery of mining waste follows comprehensive regulations and includes plans for remediation of historical pollution.
  6. The CRMA should include comprehensive rules for calculating and verifying the environmental footprint of critical raw materials. This requires clear criteria for determining a significant environmental footprint, taking into account the impact on circularity and recycling, international standards, and sustainable practices, conducting prior assessments and consultations with relevant stakeholders, allowing the European Scientific Advisory Board on Climate Change to provide scientific advice, ensuring environmental footprint declarations for all critical raw materials placed on the market, including intermediate and final products, and the adoption of delegated acts to establish environmental footprint performance classes with specific parameters.

Read the position paper..

The highest volum of imported products at-risk of modern slavery worldwide were electronics during 2021, according to the ‘Global Slavery Index 2023’

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US$468 billion of G20 nations imports are goods at risk of modern slavery, as the electronics plays a major role.

Modern slavery takes many forms and is known by many names: forced labour, forced or serville marriage, forced commercial sexual exploitation, human trafficking, slavery-like practices, and the sale and exploition of children. In all its forms, we’re talking about “the systematic elimination of people’s freedom”, where they cannot reject situations of exploitation for threats, direct violence, coercion or deception. This is defined by the Global Slavery Index 2023 report by Walk Free, which estimates that 50 million people have lived in modern slavery worldwide during 2021 – 10 million more people compared to the figures published in 2018 –. The study has been carried out with data from the International Labour Organisation (ILO), Walk Free and the International Organization for Migration (IOM), which reveals 1 in 4 are children, while 54% are women.

A deeply related practise with the G20 nations consumer culture

There are diferents causes for this practice, as the report points out, but G20 nations’ consumer culture is closely related. The data indicate that although the greatest prevalence of forced labour is in countries with the lowest income, these are related to the demand of higher income countries. In this regard, the report highlights the role played by the G20 nations, as almost two thirds of all cases of forced labour relate to global supply chains, that is to say, in the extraction of raw materials and at production stages.

Electronics markets with the most products at risk of forced labour

G20 nations import US$468 billion of at-risk products annually, as the electronics sector plays a major role.The top five highest value at-risk products imported by the G20 were electronics (US$243.6 billion), followed by germents (US$147.9 billion), palm oil (US$19.7 billion), solar panels (US$14.8 billion), and textile (US$12.7 billion).

The study also points out that electronic products imported by the G20 countries from China and Malaysia remain at the highest risk, also recording in Malaysia cases of forced labour of migrant workers from Bangladesh, Nepal, Myanmar and Indonesia.


The report calls on governments around the world to immediately take the following five key actions:

– Implement stronger measures to combat forced labour in public and private supply chains by introducing legislation to stop governments and businesses from sourcing goods or services linked to modern slavery.
– Embed anti-slavery measures in humanitarian and crisis responses, and ensure that human rights are embedded in efforts to build a green economy.
– Prioritise human rights when engaging with repressive regimes, by conducting due diligence to ensure that any trade, business, or investment is not contributing to or benefitting from state-imposed forced labour, including where it occurs in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region of China.
– Focus on prevention and protection for vulnerable populations by providing primary and secondary education for all children, including girls.
– Ensure effective civil and criminal protections in legislation to tackle forced and child marriage, including raising the age of marriage to 18 for girls and boys, with no exceptions.

Visit the complete report.

We are calling for the destruction of unsold electronic products to stop!

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SETEM Catalunya, as members of the European Right to Repair campaign, we join in the letter addressed to European parliamentarians, calling for the new European Ecodesign for Sustainable Products Regulation to ban the destruction of unsold electronic and textile products, along with 45 other NGOs throughout Europe.

The destruction of unsold products represents the most wasteful scenario conceivable in a linear economy. Throughout the process of manufacturing these products there are strong social and environmental impacts: water pollution, extraction of raw materials, pollution caused by distribution, precarious working conditions in the textile and electronic sector, among others.

Electric and electronic equipment remains one of the fastest growing waste streams in the EU, with an annual growth rate of 2%. In addition, these are toxic waste, and the collection rate is still low (less than 40% of electronic waste is recycled in the EU (2)). Closely related digital services account for 4.2% of European GHG emissions, of which 54% comes from the manufacture of electronic equipment (3).

Analysis from France suggests that around 1% of all electronic appliances remain unsold and
destroyed each year.i In the case of just microwaves and kettles alone, it is estimated that
98,000 and 140,000 units are destroyed respectively each year. For these two products this
represents 25,000 tonnes of CO2eq, 690 tonnes of steel, 110 tonnes of glass, 2 million litres
of water annually (4).

Ending the destruction of unsold goods will bring a number of benefits:
Reducing environmental impacts and preventing waste from the textile and EEE
Promoting industrial design and management innovation towards ending
overproduction in the first place
Remaining unsold goods provide an opportunity for secondary markets, for example
feeding refurbishers and social economy actors with new products and parts
Supporting strategic autonomy by reducing Europe’s economic dependency on natural
resource depletion, including for Critical Raw Materials

The economic opportunity of finding new markets and utility for unsold products should not be
underestimated. Projections show the value of destroyed electronics and clothing in the EU
will amount to €21.74 billion by 2022, which is larger than the entire GDP of Cyprus for the
year 2020. If no policy measures are taken, this could increase to up to €71.29 billion by 2030, as much as the revenue generated by the entire German ecommerce market in 2019.(5).

Read English letter here.

Share tweet here!


1. ADEME (2021). Etude des gisements et causes des invendus non alimentaires et de leurs voies d’écoulement. (including footwear)
2. Eurostat (2023) Waste Statistics – Electrical and Electronic Equipment.
3. (2021) Digital technologies in Europe: an environmental life cycle approach (summary report).
4. Cambridge Econometrics (2023) New EU eco-design proposals: case studies to illustrate their potential impact.
5. Okopol (2021) Policy brief on Prohibiting the Destruction of Unsold Goods.


Let’s activate fair and sustainable technology: Mobile Social Congress 2023

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  • This MSC23 will take place from the 27th of February to the 4th of March in Barcelona and partially online.
  • It will start with an action at the front doors of the Mobile World Congress and then will continue throughout the week, with virtual and face-to-face presentations, as well as a film forum and workshops.
  • The 8th edition of the congress will bring together experts from around the world to address human and environmental rights violations that occur in electronics’ value chains, especially in the extraction and manufacturing phases.
  • Save your spot and register now!

The Mobile Social Congress was created as an alternative space to the Mobile World Congress, which takes place every year in Barcelona. This year, the talks and workshops will go around how to activate a sustainable and fair electronics model.

The MSC will start next 27th of February at the gates of Fira de Barcelona with a fun and educational action to raise awareness on the effects of the technological industry that are invisible at the MWC.

With this same objective, on the 2nd of March, the MSC will gather experts from all over the world who will discuss the violation of human and environmental rights in the value chains of the technological sector, especially in the phases of extraction and manufacturing. On the 3rd of March, there will be a film forum to reflect on the damage caused by e-waste and how to act on this.

Beyond the space for debate and reflection, the MSC will also have a practical part for all ages. The congress will close the 4th of March with a repair workshop for small electronic devices. On the same day, it will take place an Install Party, a free software installation workshop, as well as an exhibition on about the campaign fair electronics, and children’s games on responsible consumption.

The impacts of the electronics industry

Since 2016, SETEM Catalunya has organized the Mobile Social Congress to encourage reflection and raise awareness about the impacts of electronics’ production and consumption. This industry produces alarming environmental and social impacts on the communities in the Global South, from where the non-renewable minerals essential for the fabrication of electronic devices are extracted. In addition, big brands in this industry outsource manufacturing in the opaque global supply chain and, therefore, in factories where labour, health and safety rights of workers are not respected.

Moreover, as a result of planned obsolescence, this sector generates millions of electronic waste every year, which leads to the pollution of the planet—with unequal impacts on the Global North and South.

A further problem is that data from people who use electronic devices is hosted on servers, whose interests are unknown. In addition, they provide this data to third parties without any control. Capitalism favours the sector being controlled by a few hands while promoting the privatization of knowledge, as is the case with software.

Save your spot and register now!

Foxconn workers in China flee the factory en masse

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This past October there was an outbreak of COVID-19 at the Foxconn factory in Zhengzhou in China, the largest complex that produces iPhones for Apple, which houses different production plants. At the time, a spokesperson for Apple’s supplier said the impact was manageable and conditions at the factory were stable. However, the company prioritized maintaining production, rather than protecting workers from the outbreak. This unleashed further contagion, to which the company responded with very strict confinement measures.

On Monday, November 7, The Wall Street Journal published a report based on interviews with more than two dozen Foxconn workers and their family members, and the company’s announcements on its WeChat account.

Employees alleged that they began to comply with quarantine on October 7, and that they could not leave their production unit for 27 hours, until they were transferred to a new block of bedrooms in the complex, where they were quarantined for a few days. The workers complained about the lack of food and medicine supplies for the infected people. The situation reached such a point that, on October 28, many decided to leave the factory, on their own feet or using government buses to take them home. Foxconn offered five incentives for people who changed their minds and went back to work.

The iPhone manufacturer has not disclosed the number of COVID cases that have occurred. The company reportedly downplayed the dangers of contracting the virus, sharing statements from medical experts on the female workforce.

Some people did not believe that people returning to work after quarantine had still tested negative. Instead, one rumor claimed it was a plan to mix COVID patients with healthy people to promote herd immunity.

This episode highlights the tension between the need to continue bussiness activities and China’s desire to maintain the 0 COVID-19 policy. In much of the world, it seems that the COVID-19 pandemic is already winding down, but in China the situation is not yet back to normal.

Apple must investigate Zhengzhou's Foxconn factory
CHANGE.ORG -> Apple must investigate Zhengzhou’s Foxconn factory

A petition of signatures has been organized calling for Apple to take its responsibility to fully investigate the incident at Foxconn’s Zhengzhou factory. We ask these questions to be answered under an independent investigation authorized by Apple:

  1. In mid-October, outbreaks occurred at the factory, creating harsh conditions that affected even those who were not infected. Why did Foxconn wait until October 30 to acknowledge this? What was Foxconn hiding, and why?

  2. How many Foxconn workers contracted COVID-19 in October?

  3. How many Foxconn workers died in October? What are the causes of death?

  4. Who authorized the order prohibiting the workers from leaving the factory in October? What was the reason?

  5. Why were the infected workers not given medical supplies?

  6. Why were there cases in the distribution of essential products in the factory area?

  7. What were Foxconn’s standards for housing conditions for workers during lockdown? How many people were isolated in October?

  8. Why weren’t there enough isolation areas equipped with adequate basic supplies for workers?

  9. How many temporary workers does the Zhengzhou Foxconn factory currently hire? Why don’t they have another type of contract?

  10. Is there evidence of forced labor during the closed loop production period?

  11. Are there workers whose movements have been forcibly restricted during the closed circuit production period? Who were the people who implemented these policies?

Sign the petition here!






How to take care of your cell phone this summer

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Photo by Vanessa Garcia @cc

80% of the carbon footprint of our electronic devices is produced in the production phase, during the extraction of raw materials, transportation, manufacturing of the different parts, assembly, and distribution to points of sale.

In addition, the manufacture of each device requires raw materials, many of which are extracted through mining. Mining has strong environmental impacts, such as loss of biodiversity, soil contamination, deforestation; and also social impacts, such as the displacement of communities living in the territories where these resources are exploited, illegal financing of weapons by armed groups in conflict territories, precarious working conditions in the mines, insecurity and exposure to toxins, and child labor in many cases. In the manufacturing phase, we also found strong violations of human and labor rights, especially among women, who make up the majority of assembly line workers in many factories. Among these violations, we find excessive working hours, precarious wages, repression of unionization, exposure to toxins, among others.

When our devices break down, or we replace them with new ones, the impacts continue: high pollution caused by electronic waste landfills, waste of resources, export of waste to countries without an adequate recycling infrastructure…

For all these reasons, one of the most effective ways for consumers to reduce this carbon footprint, and the impacts associated with the production and consumption of electronic devices, is to try to extend the useful life of the device as much as possible.

On the other hand, during the time we use these devices, we can become very vulnerable in terms of our data privacy if we are not careful about how we access our information on the Internet.

Summer is a time of the year when we can spend more time outdoors doing outdoor activities. Temperatures are higher, and we often spend time cooling off by the water. We also have more free time to connect to the Internet during vacation days, and we may spend a few days visiting another city or country. Summer, therefore, is a time when our data, such as our phones and tablets, are more exposed to different types of risks. From the Just Electronics campaign we share some practical tips to protect our devices and our data!

– Beware of the heat! Most devices are designed to operate between 0 °C and 35 °C, so always leave your device in the shade, and don’t leave it inside the car on very hot days, as heat can damage it! Avoid using it in very hot weather, leaving it switched off, or leaving it on a surface heated by the sun. If it has warmed up, let it cool down in the shade without the casing, and do not put cold air or put it in the fridge… the cold can also damage it.

– Be careful with sand… just as dust is a great enemy of our devices, so is sand! try to use it with clean hands, and protect it from wind gusts.

– Watch out for water: keep your device away from water or use a protective case.

– Turn it off: it is advisable to turn off your device at least once a week, even for a few seconds, and not to keep it always on. This way you will also be able to disconnect more from the Internet and applications, and connect with yourself, the people around you and nature!

– Take care of the battery: do not to let the mobile phone reach too low battery levels, nor overload the battery. The advisable with the current type of batteries is to charge them between 30% and 80%. If you turn off the functionalities that you do not use in every moment (*Bluetooth, Wifi, GPS. etc.) you will avoid the overheating, you will save data, and battery too! You can also adjust the screen brightness if you want to save battery, your eyes will thank you.

– Now you have time to make room! it is better not to fill too much memory on your device, as it can worsen the performance… Delete the applications you do not use, and if you can, leave 25% of memory free- Keep your eyes open at all times: in summer, especially in cities, theft from tourists increases. Don’t carry your devices in accessible pockets, or on the table at the bar…- Make a backup of everything important to save your data in case your device is lost or stolen!- Familiarize yourself with pager applications that protect your device: many brands incorporate applications that can be activated to track your phone in case of theft or loss, do a data wipe, or block the shutdown option… If not, you can also download them. If your device is lost or stolen, you will have to act very fast, so you better know how to use them!

– Insure your device, but not just any way! If you already have a home insurance, check if it covers theft. From SETEM we recommend that you take out all your insurance with insurers that work with ethical and sustainability criteria. Look for them!

– Use an old cell phone: If you want to disconnect and protect yourself from theft, you can always rescue an old, simpler cell phone that still works. If you don’t plan to use it, take it to your SETEM collection point during business hours! We use them for repair workshops in schools, we give them to different initiatives, or we make sure they get to job placement companies that are dedicated to the management of electronic waste and that do their utmost to get them repaired!

– Caution with the use of open wifi networks: Open networks can be a way to save data, but they can also be insecure, as they are very easily accessible to third parties.

– Share these tips with friends and family!

We need an ambitious Catalan waste law!

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SETEM Catalunya has joined forces with more than 20 organisations, trade unions and others to demand an ambitious waste law.

We need the future waste law of Catalonia to go radically against the current model that makes natural resources disappear and generates a great deal of pollution. We have been in front of the Government of the Generalitat to support the demand for waste reduction, liquid toxic products, an economy of reuse, which is paid for and maximum transparency with data.

Dimarts will participate in a performative and vindicative act in which the weight that we assume from the citizenship for the current production and consumption model will be shown. As explained by Rezero, one of the driving forces behind the event, three spheres of about two metres in diameter each will represent the three problems of the current production and consumption model. One evokes the evils derived from the toxicity of everyday consumer products and the pollution caused by bad waste management practices. Another sphere represented the economic costs that are unfairly borne by citizens, as companies externalise part of the costs derived from their activity and end up being borne via taxes. The third sphere denounces the environmental costs of the use-and-fill consumption model, which is mortgaging the future.

The law approved by the government must be as ambitious as possible in order to respond to the climate, social and economic crisis we are facing. The organisations demand from our political representatives policies that really transform the production and consumption model that is suffocating citizens and the planet.

More information at Rezero.


New York passes Digital Right to Repair Act

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Original article by Alex Kamczyc – Recycling Today.

Picture: Thilo Parg. CC licensed.

The New York State Senate has passed the Digital Fair Repair Act, which will expand consumer access to tools and information to repair personal electronics. The bill passed on 3 June by a near-unanimous vote of 145 to 1.

The bill requires original equipment manufacturers to make diagnostic information, replacement parts, schematics, special tools and firmware available to independent repair providers. “This means that repair shops that are fixing these devices will get the support they need without jumping through the hoops that manufacturers make them jump through to control their work,” comments Nathan Proctor, director of the United States Public Interest Research Group. “I hope this will put pressure on the industry to expand access to repairing their devices.

Read more here.

Austria funds repair of electronic devices

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Original article (Markus Piringer and Orla Butler)

The Austrian government launched a new bonus to promote the repair of electronic devices. The national scheme allows consumers to recover half the cost of repairing an old electrical device. Climate Minister Leonore Gewessler launched the scheme with the intention of “making repair attractive again”. Up to €200 of the cost of a repair is refunded, which means cheaper repairs, less e-waste and a boost for local repair companies.

Individuals resident in Austria can exchange the repair bonus for cost estimates or for the repair of their devices. The range of products eligible for the repair bonus includes almost all electrical and electronic equipment commonly used in private households.

Making repair more accessible is a central part of the right to repair. That is why the large number of repairers involved in the scheme is so important. Since the launch of the project on 26 April, some 1,200 companies across Austria have accepted the rebate. The fact that so many companies and independent repairers are involved is fantastic, because it makes it easier for consumers to approach their local repair shop to get their device fixed.

So how does it work for Austrian consumers? With the bonus, device repairs are now half the price, so users can simply download the bonus voucher online and go to one of the companies that accept the bonus. Each voucher finances 50% of the cost of the repair, up to €200 per product repair. It also subsidises 50% of the price of a repair estimate, up to a maximum of €30. The bonus can be exchanged when the invoice is paid and must be valid at that time, regardless of when the order was placed. After the voucher has been exchanged, a new voucher can be requested and used to repair another device. Customers pay the difference, which makes the repair very economical in general. The scheme to promote repair is financed with 130 million euros from the EU’s Next Generation pandemic rescue fund. Austrians will be able to apply for the bonus as long as funds are available.

This is not the first initiative Austria has taken to make repair more affordable. The idea is based on the repair vouchers used by the City of Vienna since autumn 2020. This voucher covered a wide range of consumer goods and was capped at €100. The project was a great success and promoted thousands of reduced-price repairs of all kinds of products. Data published last year on the pilot showed that in more than 90% of cases, defective items could be successfully repaired and given a second chance. The success of the idea proved the effectiveness of the repair and saved a significant amount of resources and CO₂ emissions. In addition, in 2020, the Austrian government reduced VAT on repairs of bicycles, clothes and shoes.

With device repairs at half price throughout the country, repairing an old device is now more affordable and accessible for all Austrians.