Target: M. Jean-Pierre Bel, French Senate President
Goal: Praise requirement of expiration dates on goods to protect consumers.
The French government recently made a decree that requires manufacturers to include expiration dates on many consumer goods, including: televisions, mobile phones, and other appliances. The decree was made to fight the practice of engineered obsolescence. This decree will therefore protect consumers with the added bonus of forcing companies to make their products with longevity in mind. Decrees such as this would make life better for all people, from those making these products in developing nations to consumers of them, and it deserves our commendation.
Engineered obsolescence is the practice of making goods, generally electronics, with a built-in expiration date. This is done by using parts that are known to fail after a given amount of time, manufacturing with the lowest bidder, and knowingly using faulty designs. What it means is that people are forced to buy new goods more often. Years ago things were built to last, but in the modern world nearly everything is disposable. There’s no telling what this is doing to the environment and it contributes directly both to consumerism and exploitation of those in developing nations.
This concept is best seen in the manufacturing of goods by Apple. When the iPod became the first popular MP3 player on the market, Apple’s products were sturdy, useful, and high quality. Now, Apple’s flagship product, the iPhone, needs to be replaced nearly every year because of software that Apple adds to their operating system updates to slow down older iPhones.
This decree will force manufacturers to make a deeper investment in their products and workers. The end result will be less waste, fewer exploited workers, and higher quality products for all consumers. Please sign here to commend the French government for this groundbreaking new rule and to encourage lawmakers in the United States to do the same.
Dear M. Jean-Pierre Bel, French Senate President,
I am writing to you with great excitement over the French Government’s new decree, forcing manufacturers to add expiration dates to their products. The practice of engineered obsolescence has gone too far and I am happy to see one nation fighting back against corporate greed.
As you well know, engineered obsolescence does direct harm to people of all nations and unknowable harm to the earth. Products used to be built with care and to last, but now nearly everything is replaceable and meant to be so. There will be no antiques from the last thirty years as there are of the hundreds of years before, because nothing will last that long.
I want to thank you for seeking to protect consumers and those physically making the products, often in developing nations, from corporate greed and carelessness. Forcing manufacturers to make higher quality products will force them to pay their workers more meaning that they will no longer be exploited. This decree is an overall win-win and will protect people the world over. I encourage you strongly to suggest this type of rule to all nations.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Ekolist via Wikimedia Commons