To Telegraph

Sir,
your headline "Stop buying new appliances and cars and repair them instead, Government adviser says -- Families should help environment by repairing electrical goods and cars rather than buying new," massively misinterprets what I said. What I was actually saying is that today, we are often not able to repair goods, because products aren't designed for repair, because spare parts are not easy to source, and because repairing is too expensive. Consequently we are spending valuable resources making appliances then throwing them away when just one small component fails.

And I was raising the question "how can society transform the whole system, so that we make more efficient use of resources, and so that it becomes possible for goods to be economically repaired?" The potential transformation of the ways in which we use materials is explored in a wonderful book, which is available free online: Sustainable Materials - with both eyes open by Julian Allwood and Jon Cullen [twitter: @smwbeo].
David MacKay FRS
Chief Scientific Advisor, DECC


David MacKay
Last modified: Wed Jan 8 08:59:41 GMT 2014