Home › Forums › Current Work › Tuesday Update: E-waste Repair
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May 16, 2023 at 11:22 am #29987Mel JungKeymaster
New York and Colorado both signed new laws to support repair! E-waste is the fastest-growing waste stream in the U.S. and is exasperated by short-lived tech. School Chromebooks are a prime example with a clear solution.
We’re asking Google to act. Working Chromebooks can reach an “Automatic Update Expiration,” at which point they no longer receive updates and often can’t be used in the classroom.
These concerns were taken directly to Google and definitely got their attention thanks to widespread media coverage. We have an opportunity to keep working laptops off the scrap heap as a result.
Join us in calling for Google to extend the life of the 13 Chromebook models expiring in three months.
Chromebooks come with an Automatic Update Expiration date, after which software support ends. The lack of software support can block essential uses such as accessing state testing websites and make devices vulnerable. Google could extend the life of these models, most of which are still available for purchase online. Two models are still being sold as “new” on Amazon and Office Depot, even though they’ll expire in just three months.
Google isn’t solely responsible for the disposability treadmill that keeps us replacing our phones, laptops, tablets, and appliances with new products. However, their sustainability commitment to a circular economy states Google is, “constantly looking for new ways to build products, design out waste and pollution, and keep materials and resources in use for as long as possible.” In the United States, we generate about 6.9 million tons of e-waste each year which is equivalent to throwing out 120 Chromebooks every second. We can’t afford to keep replacing technology at the current rate. Google has the power to lead the industry towards a circular economy with longer-lasting laptops.
These 13 Chromebook models will expire in 3 months while most are still available for purchase online and four of these devices if you bought them on the day they came out, they’d expire after only four years. After that expiration date most owners and schools will have no choice but to replace these laptops with newer products. Google has extended the lifespan of Chromebooks in the past. Why don’t they do it again for these expiring Chromebooks?
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