Repair is often raised as a potential contribution to waste reduction by way of extending product life and ensuring proportionate policy reform. The Australian Government recently released terms of reference for the Productivity Commission’s inquiry into the Right to Repair in Australia.
Consumers, or third parties, can face challenges when having to repair products that develop faults or require maintenance, due to a lack of access to necessary tools, parts or diagnostic software.
According to MobileMuster, 33 per cent of Australians have repaired their mobile phones and it is expected the number of people reusing devices will increase over time as younger Australians are more likely to opt for repairing or purchasing second hand phones.
Right to Repair is a consumer’s ability to restore faulty goods, or access repairing services, at a competitive price. This can include repairing by a manufacturer, a third-party, or self-repair.
The inquiry will consider a range of issues impacting the Australian repair market, including potential barriers and enablers of greater competition.
It will draw on international experience and examine Right to Repair mechanisms that support consumer rights, promote competition in the repair market, and encourage product design requirements to extend product life and reduce e-waste.
The Productivity Commission will undertake broad public consultation, including with state and territory governments. The inquiry is due to report to Government within twelve months.
The terms of reference can be found at the Productivity Commission website.
Repairing a product can be a strategy for waste avoidance and reduction in some product classes, including vehicles, consumer electronics, IT equipment and appliances.
If your company, industry association or local council is looking to explore and understand the relevance of repairing a product as part of the waste management process, please don’t hesitate to contact the Equilibrium team on BH (03) 9372 5356.