In a letter to the Irish Independent, Kathy Sinnot MEP urged consumers to counter “throw away culture and begin to insist that what we buy will last”.

She noted that when she was younger appliances such as toasters and even light bulbs could be repaired, extending their life, but that these days it is cheaper to replace than repair devices that stop working.

The need to replace products is a deliberate ploy by manufacturers, she claimed, noting that “built in obsolescence” – or designing appliances for a short lifespan – keeps manufacturers’ “turnover and profit margins high but is of no benefit to us, the consumer, and certainly not to our environment”.

She also congratulated WEEE Ireland, tasked with collecting and disposing appropriately of all waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE).

On the third anniversary of the introduction of the WEEE directive, WEEE Ireland revealed it had collected and recycled 9kg of electronic waste per person, more than double the 4kg target set by the EU.

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