New survey reveals why damaged products are not reused

A Norwegian survey shows that damaged products are more likely to be reused than go to waste if it is cheaper to repair than to buy a new product.

Geminor is entering a cooperation with the organization Restarters Norway – a subdivision of the international “The Restarter Project”.  The purpose of the collaboration is to map attitudes regarding the repair and reuse of various types of damaged products, bringing focus on the option to reuse rather than waste products.

A Norwegian survey, which is conducted by InFact on behalf of Geminor and Restarters, reveals that the cost of repairs is the most important factor when Norwegians decide whether to reuse or buy new products.

Kaja Juul Skarboe at Restarters Norway

This is one of the biggest obstacles in reusing damaged electronics, textiles, machines, and other equipment today, explains the general manager of Restarters Norway, Kaja Juul Skarboe.

– As many as 29 percent of the respondents who have not delivered products for repair, state that this is because “it is more expensive to repair than buying a new product”. At the same time, 51 percent of Norwegians state that they would rather reuse products if it is cheaper to repair than to buy new products, says Juul Skarboe.

Access and knowledge

The International Restarters Project is actively working to increase the focus on repairing electronics in Europe. They organize workshops called “Restart parties”, where people can learn how to repair damaged electronics.

Restart Party

The Norwegian subdivision, Restarters Norway, has for some time claimed that the lack of repairers is an important factor, which is now confirmed in the new survey: One in four Norwegians state that better accessibility of repairers is the most important factor in increasing the reuse of their own damaged products. Hence, this is the second most important factor for extending the use of damaged consumer goods in Norway.

– The survey emphasizes the need for easy access to qualified repairers. This may also be the case for most consumers in Europe. In addition to cheaper repair costs, accessibility of repairers is an important factor in reducing the amount of waste. Norwegians, and Europeans in general, also need to gain more knowledge about repairing and reusing, says Juul Skarboe.

–New regulations, such as removing VAT on repairs, is just one of many measures that could lead us in the right direction, says Skarboe.

Recycling is important – reuse is more important

Restarters promote important attitudes and measures for a more sustainable society, says CEO at Geminor, Kjetil Vikingstad.

CEO at Geminor, Kjetil Vikingstad.

– Bringing attention to our throw-away society, but also facilitating repairs and fronting more reuse of consumer products, is absolutely essential to reach European sustainability goals in the years to come. Hence, the work Restarters are doing is valuable, says Vikingstad.

– Being a waste management and recycling company, we know that the most sustainable option is to reduce the amount of waste we produce. To obtain this, we need smarter consumption and more reuse.

– In addition, we must ensure that our waste is recycled and goes into a circular economy – or used as fuel for energy recovery. Waste is a resource, and must be treated and utilized in the most sustainable way, concludes CEO at Geminor, Kjetil Vikingstad.

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