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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2015 - 2016 Regular Session


Posted: October 30, 2015 03:01 PM
From: Senator Stewart J. Greenleaf
To: All Senate members
Subject: Consumer Notification of Product Lifespan
I intend to introduce legislation to regulate the practice of planned obsolescence in consumer products by manufacturers.

Planned obsolescence is the technique used by manufacturers to deliberately reduce the lifespan of a product, often electronic, in order to increase replacement rates in the marketplace.

All too often, we as consumers purchase an item, be it a computer, appliance or other electronic device, only to have the product fail just outside of the warranty window. Many manufacturers already place their products through rigorous reliability and durability testing and can easily estimate its lifespan based on normal use.

My legislation will amend the Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Law to require manufacturers to inform consumers conspicuously of a product’s estimated lifespan so they can make more informed decisions at the time of purchase. Products that already have an established expiration date (i.e. food & drugs) would be exempt from this requirement.

I believe requiring manufacturers to disclose a product’s estimated lifespan will lead to greater competition among manufacturers to create a more durable product, thus reducing the need to constantly purchase new items, thereby decreasing our e-waste footprint while increasing consumer awareness.

Introduced as SB1074