Consumers’ Federation of Australia responds to proposed button battery regulation options

Small round disk batteries in green and black cardboard packaging that says 'GP Lithium'

CFA has made a submission to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) Button Battery Taskforce.

The ACCC launched the taskforce to investigate the safety of button batteries and the products that contain them.

Button batteries pose a severe injury risk for young children and other vulnerable groups, like the elderly and those with dementia, as they can easily be ingested or inserted into the body.

There is currently no specific mandatory regulation in Australia to address the hazards associated with button batteries.

CFA supports the introduction of a mandatory standard for button batteries and considers that introducing a mandatory standard will have a positive impact on products and packaging by establishing criteria with which manufacturers, importers and retailers would have to comply. This in turn would reduce exposure to the risks that come with easy access to button batteries.

In particular, CFA supports the requirement of a tool to access the battery compartment of items and the inclusion of warnings for products sold online and unpackaged products.

CFA believes such mandatory safety standards are preferable to a principles-based approach which may not be sufficient given the variety of products that contain button batteries.

The submission is available for download here.