To save money and the planet, make gadgets easier to fix

About 59 million tonnes of old TVs, computers, monitors, smartphones, washers and other electronics are discarded every year. This waste is dangerous.

If a device can be repaired, then its life can be extended.ST PHOTO: GIN TAY

(NYTIMES) Years from now, what creature will digest the new iPads and AirTags that Apple recently announced? What soil will absorb their metals? The shiny gadgets of today will be waste tomorrow. As you eye that upgraded tablet, consider that Apple shipped so many new iPads last year that if they were all laid flat and stacked, they would be about as tall as 862 Empire State Buildings. Then think about whatever old iPad of yours is languishing now in some unknown place.

Manufacturers don't talk much about this turnover when they announce the big new thing that will replace your mostly just as good old thing. This is all by design. There's a term for it: planned obsolescence, or designing a product with an intentionally limited lifespan.

Please or to continue reading the full article.

Get unlimited access to all stories at $0.99/month
  • Latest headlines and exclusive stories
  • In-depth analyses and award-winning multimedia content
  • Get access to all with our no-contract promotional package at only $0.99/month for the first 3 months*

*Terms and conditions apply.