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It seems like such a simple thing: to be able to take apart and fix something.

But this has been precisely the problem with mobile phones.

Up until now manufacturers have have made it difficult for their handsets to be fixed. This has led to huge waste.

However earlier this month one phone brand has brought out the first phone which is modular – meaning it can be taken apart and elements replaced.

Mobile phone brand Fairphone have launched upgradeable parts for its product line.

The move will have been greeted in Brussels where officials have been calling for modularity to become a bigger part of product design. If you replace a part rather than the whole, you save waste. That’s the theory anyway.

Fairphone owners can now slot upgraded camera modules into their phones. Whatever you think of the company, this is a major step towards long lasting phones that critics said could never happen. If it catches on, upgradeable phones could end up taking a big old bite out of Apple’s rotten business model, the ewaste problem, child labour and other bad stuff.

For more on this story, head to the EEB waste campaign site MRC.

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