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The ‘Right To Repair’ Movement Wants To Fix Our Throwaway Culture

Flickr/mjaysplanet https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2021

Phone battery won’t hold a charge? Buy a new phone. TV on the fritz? Throw it away and get a new one.

It didn’t used to be that way. We used to get things repaired. Today, we reserve that for big-ticket items like cars or kitchen appliances, and we’re helped in this bad habit by manufacturers who have made it increasingly difficult to repair smaller — though expensive — gadgets.

It’s costing us all money and it’s adding to needless waste in landfills. Now, a new "Right to Repair" movement is emerging and working to turn our throwaway culture into a repair culture? How – and will — it work? We explore that.


Kevin Purdy, technology journalist at iFixit, an online repair community that teaches how to repair common electronics and other household items.

Nathan Proctor, right to repair campaign director for U.S. PIRG, the United States Public Interest Research Group, a consumer advocacy group.

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Erin Keever is Senior Producer of WFAE's Charlotte Talks with Mike Collins. She has been with the show since joining the station in 2006. She's a native Charlottean.