Campaign sparks action on ‘shoddy’ electrical products
PUBLISHED: 16:00 27 August 2015
Fight for law change on companies using ‘planned obsolescence’
One woman’s campaign to introduce an estimated life expectancy for electrical goods such as kettles is gaining steam.
Holloway resident Tara Button, 33, started a petition calling for the end of “planned obsolescence”, a tactic used by companies which create cheaper products that are designed to break within a certain time period.
Within the past week Ms Button has enlisted the help of Green Party councillor Caroline Russell, who is assisting the part-time copywriter to draw up the policy for the proposed law, which she will present to 10 Downing Street, along with her petition.
Ms Button, of Hertslet Road, said: “Longevity isn’t something they think about but it makes a big difference to money.
“Large companies who use this trick trap people in a cycle of poverty as they have to keep replacing products. 50 years ago our grandparents would never have left stuff out on the street when they moved.
“Now that’s common because most of the products we buy are shoddy rubbish.”
Ms Button said she hoped the proposed law would mirror the policy of a law already in effect in France.
She said: “The crux is that planned obsolescence is part of a company using it as a strategy to get more money that should be illegal.”
“The law is taken very seriously in France. There is a fine which can be up to tens of thousands of euros.
Ms Button is a Green Party member but had not worked directly with them before. She said: “I emailed Caroline to give her a heads-up about the petition. She was incredibly supportive.”
Ms Button recently smashed through her 10,000 signature target for the campaign.
Cllr Russell said: “Tara has got to the absolute root of the problem of the consumer culture that we live in and what she’s trying to do is make sure that there is no commercial disadvantage making it clear how long their products last.
“This proposed law makes absolute sense.”