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Repairing things in Australia could soon become easier

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It could soon become easier for people to fix a range of products, with the federal government considering measures aimed at enhancing consumers' right to repair. It follows a Productivity Commission report that found significant barriers to repairing some goods in Australia.

A Productivity Commission report released this month found there are "significant and unnecessary barriers" to fixing some products in Australia. It states that action by consumers and manufacturers could not only make repairs easier and less costly, but also reduce harm to the environment.

Good product design, the reuse of materials that would otherwise end up in landfill, and greater awareness of consumer rights and responsibilities can all play a part in reducing harm to the environment caused by the needless disposal of products that are no longer desired.

The report makes more than a dozen recommendations, including that the federal government introduces a labelling scheme within five years to provide consumers with information about a product's repairability and durability.

John Gertsakis is director of Ewaste Watch, a non-profit organisation based in Australia with a focus on accelerating the sustainability of electronics.

He says a labelling scheme would allow shoppers to make better-informed choices.

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