Repair don’t replace; The Swedes take Big First Step

by Demetrios.C.Orton.Hatzis on February 13, 2017 - 12:22am

In his article, ‘Waste not want not: Sweden to give tax breaks for repairs’, Richard Orange reports on the new Swedish tax laws then set to be put in place Jan. 1st and now in operation. The article, link HERE, was posted to The Guardian on September 19th 2016.

The above mentioned tax break would “slash the VAT rate on repairs to bicycles, clothes and shoes from 25% to 12%” where the VAT, standing for Value-Added-Tax, is a kind of tax used primarily in the EU for products where the “value” is increased mid way or late in production. Such a decrease, of over 50%, along with an initiative “that would allow people to claim back from income tax half of the labour cost on repairs to appliances”, were designed in order to incentivize moving past “Throwaway Culture.” This is but one more area where the Swedish Government has displayed its focus on environmentalism, and such a stance should be emulated in countries across the world.

As someone who truly believes that the environment should be much higher on peoples’ priority lists and who tries to emulate the Victorian mantra of self-improvement (Article on that tidbit HERE – Super interesting perspective on self-Improvement hysteria), I was ecstatic to learn of this move by the Swedish Government. The disposable lifestyle that has taken over the mindset of primarily the western world isn’t sustainable, especially with the lackluster recycling policies of those very same nations. Thinking purely logically, if you use and dispose of anything, with out any kind of method to reuse it, that thing will run out eventually, and that eventuality is fast approaching. I think its important that measures such as this new tax policy, are important because they spur the involvement of those who would have previously stayed out of the green movement. I also believe that it is important for people to speak up more about green policies that they would like to see implemented because government emulate their citizens’ wishes, which they can only do accurately if their citizens are vocal.

Links for redundancy:

The Guardian article on the Swedish tax law:

The Jocobin Magazine blog post on Victorian principles revived in the 21st century:


About the author

I am a CEGEP (kinda like Quebec's College) student, 4th semester, was born and raised in and around Montreal, am very opinionated and raring to start any kind of ideological back and forth, could probably argue my way out of a metal box, and have at least a few years experience skeptically eyeing