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Carl Dalhammar

Carl Dalhammar

Senior lecturer

Carl Dalhammar

Repair in the Circular Economy: Towards a National Swedish Strategy


  • Josefina Almén
  • Carl Dalhammar
  • Leonidas Milios
  • Jessika Luth Richter

Summary, in English

Extending the lifetime of products is seen as a key objective for realising the vision of a Circular Economy. One way to increase the lifespan of products is to enable more repair activities. However, consumers encounter a variety of barriers for repairs, prompting public authorities in Europe and the US to adopt or propose policies in support of consumer repairs. Sweden has recently adopted a circular economy action plan, where increasing the number of consumer repairs is a stated objective. However, Sweden has so far only adopted a few repair policies, most notably through the tax reliefs for the repair sector that were implemented in 2017. The aim of this contribution is to research how Sweden could develop a more comprehensive policy mix for promoting consumer repairs, also by taking into consideration initiatives from other countries and regions. The research is based on a literature review and semi-structured interviews with policymakers and other relevant actors in Sweden, Europe and the US. The study shows that a lot of interesting initiatives aiming at increasing repairs are currently being proposed. The new requirements related to repairs, developed within the European Union’s (EU) Ecodesign Directive, have been positively received but the process is cumbersome and it will take time before their full effect becomes evident. Initiatives, such as the French repairability index and the French repair fund will create incentives for the producers to design more repairable products and make it easier for consumers to repair. On the same track, the Repair Network of Vienna with its repair vouchers makes repairs cheaper and more trustworthy. Also, the US policy proposals on right-to-repair laws would help to create an open market for repairs for a lot of products. Sweden has the possibility to gain knowledge through the implementation of similar policies, and by considering new policies suggested in literature and by the interviewees. Thus there is potential for Sweden to be a front-runner in creating a more resource efficient society through increased repair activity. Concluding, some preliminary proposals for a future policy mix are presented.


  • The International Institute for Industrial Environmental Economics
  • Centre for Environmental and Climate Science (CEC)

Publishing year







20th European Roundtable on Sustainable Consumption and Production

Document type

Conference paper


Verlag der Technischen Universität Graz


  • Environmental Engineering


  • repair
  • repair policy
  • right to repair
  • circular economy

Conference name

20th European Roundtable on Sustainable Consumption and Production

Conference date

2021-09-08 - 2021-09-10

Conference place

Graz, Austria




  • Creating a repair society to advance the Circular Economy – policies, networks and people
  • Resource-Efficient and Effective Solutions based on Circular Economy Thinking - Phase 2


  • ISBN: 978-3-85125-842-4