Fabian Demicoli

Europeans consider the Env. impact of the products they buy

 In a Eurobarometer survey published on the 29th of August, it was revealed that four out of five Europeans say that they consider the environmental impact of the products they buy. Environmental consideration was highest in Greece where more than 9 in 10 of those surveyed said the impact of a product on the environment plays an important aspect in their purchasing decisions. In the same survey Europeans were evenly divided about claims by producers on the environmental performance of their products while nearly half thought that a combination of increased taxes on environmentally-damaging products and decreased taxes on environmentally-friendly products would best promote eco-friendly products. There was also strong support for retailers to play a role in promoting environmentally-friendly products and for mandatory carbon labelling.




EU Environment Commissioner Stavros Dimas said that consumers have the power in the sense that the battle against climate change is not only the remit of companies and governments. Consumers also have their part to play. By purchasing environmentally and climate-friendly products, individual customers send the right signal to producers who respond in turn by producing more eco-friendly products.

Some 46% of EU citizens also thought that the best way to promote environmentally-friendly products would be to increase taxes on environmentally-damaging products and decrease taxes on environmentally-friendly products. Britons were most in favour of such a double taxation system while the Maltese much less so (28%) preferring instead reducing taxes on environmentally-friendly products only.

Background: In July 2008 the Commission presented an action plan which includes a series of proposals on sustainable consumption and production that will contribute to improve the environmental performance of products and increase the demand for more sustainable goods and production technologies. It also seeks to encourage EU industry to take advantage of opportunities to innovate. More information on this can be found here: http://ec.europa.eu/environment/eussd/escp_en.htm

Source: MEUSAC Sectoral Committee Update


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