Sweden Introduces a Tax Break for Repairing Goods Instead of Tossing

Shaunacy Ferro
iStock / iStock

Sweden, a country that’s already regularly heralded as the most sustainable in the world, is implementing yet another policy designed to make sure that nearly nothing ends up in its landfills. A series of new tax breaks in the country’s 2017 budget statement [PDF] will make it cheaper to repair old and broken bikes, clothes, shoes, and more, according to The Guardian

The proposals being introduced to Swedish parliament this week include reducing the VAT (value-added tax) on repairs from 25 percent to 12 percent. One of the Swedish ministers behind the plan estimates that it would reduce the cost of a 400 SEK repair ($47) by about 50 SEK ($6), The Guardian reports. The Social Democrat and Green parties heading up the legislation are also proposing a rule that would allow people to write off half the labor costs of repairing ovens, fridges, dishwashers, laundry machines, and other home appliances on their income taxes.

The point is to make the cost of repairing anything from a stove on the fritz to a broken shoe much more appealing than buying a new item, preventing those old products from ending up in a landfill. If the budget passes, it’ll go into effect in January.

[h/t The Guardian]

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