Furniture and other household products on sale at a store in Melbourne’s west will be replaced with wooden furniture in 2019, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) announced on Wednesday.
The commission said the decision was taken to promote “Australian style”, while encouraging consumers to shop for “clean, modern and affordable” furniture.
The ACCC has previously issued warnings against selling wood furniture as it has a “high potential to cause fires” and can also cause asbestos exposure.
It warned against selling furniture made from wood, especially those made from non-natural materials.
The department said it would be “more effective” to focus on “clean” products, such as furniture and kitchenware, as they would be less prone to fires.
It said it wanted to promote the “good manufacturing practices and quality standards” of Australian products.
The change was welcomed by furniture retailer Victoria-based furniture retailer Avis.
The retailer’s chief executive, Tony Jones, said the “new, cleaner” wood furniture would be the next big thing for Australians, with many “losing out” in a market that is now dominated by wood-fired stoves.
“This change is a great thing,” Mr Jones said.
“In terms of the quality of the wood, I think we’ll be a lot more pleased with the quality, and the value, of the Australian wood furniture.”‘
More than a good product’In its announcement, the ACCC said it recognised the importance of “clean products”, including wood.
“The government is committed to protecting the environment and supporting the construction industry to achieve sustainable and reliable manufacturing and supply practices,” the commission said.
It urged manufacturers to “keep the best in-house materials and processes” and to “demonstrate the most value and quality for consumers”.
“The ACCC encourages companies to demonstrate how they achieve better environmental performance through clean products and processes,” the announcement said.
The new Wood Crossword furniture will be available in Victoria and the ACT from November next year, with prices starting at $8.50.
The announcement comes amid a wave of “green” furniture including the eco-friendly wooden tables and chairs from Swedish furniture maker Knapp, which will go on sale next year.