Green goods to come to the front of Britain’s shelves
Defra News Release http://www.defra.gov.uk
Green goods will need to become the normal products on our shelves in the future, while products with a big environmental impact will need to change -- and much of the time consumers won’t even notice, Climate Change Minister Joan Ruddock said today.
Publishing progress reports on Sustainable Products and Materials and the Waste Strategy, Ms Ruddock said that the Government and industry were working together to green the whole life cycle of products and services – from the raw materials right through to their use and disposal.
Joan Ruddock said:
“We know people are concerned about their effect on the environment, but they don’t get to see the full picture of what goes into producing the goods they buy – and they don’t see what happens after they’ve thrown them away.
“It needs to be easier for people to buy products that will save them money and reduce their impact on the environment – and that’s exactly what we’re doing. There are real savings to be made – through this action to green the products and materials we use, UK households could save £5 billion a year on their bills.
“Many businesses are already taking positive steps to reduce the environmental impact of their products, and are seeing the real benefits this can have, both for them and their customers. But as fuel prices rise, commodities become scarcer, and families are feeling the pinch, it becomes ever more important for businesses to use resources more efficiently throughout the supply chain, those that don’t will miss out on potential savings, as well as big opportunities for growth.”
The Sustainable Products and Materials report details, for the first time, the action already underway on making products and materials more sustainable throughout their production, use and disposal, across a wide range of products groups including food, electrical appliances and clothing.
Significant achievements to date include:
The report also sets out a vision for future work on making products more sustainable, and encourages further debate and discussion on how this can be achieved.
The Government is also publishing the “Policy Analysis and Projections 2008” report which sets out our vision and trajectories for improvement of efficiency of a range of energy-using products including light bulbs, refrigerators, boilers and consumer electronics till 2020 as well as the evidence underpinning our assessment and challenges to industry for the scale of those improvements.
A summary of progress made since the publication in May 2007 of the Waste Strategy is also published today.
It shows good progress in the main indicators, covering waste growth, recycling and diversion from landfill:
Further work is needed to identify whether an increase in reports of fly tipping incidents represents an increase in fly tipping activity, or whether it reflects continued improvement in the levels of information local authorities provide to the Fly Capture national database. The forecast for 2007/08 anticipates a decrease in fly tipping levels.
The Sustainable Products and Materials progress report is available at . http://www.defra.gov.uk/environment/consumerprod/
The Waste Strategy progress report is available athttp://www.defra.gov.uk/environment/waste/strategy/strategy07/.
We are piloting ten product roadmaps to demonstrate the sustainable products approach. - milk, fish, clothing, passenger cars, TVs, domestic lighting, electric motors, window systems, WCs, plasterboard. Further information on each of the roadmaps is available at http://www.defra.gov.uk/environment/consumerprod/products/.
You can read more about Market Transformation Programme “Policy Analysis and Projections” at http://www.mtprog.com/.
Within the Waste Strategy its important to note that an increase in hazardous waste between 2004 and 2006 was largely due to a single waste treatment plant. This has now revised its processes and treats its liquid waste instead of disposing of it under a consented discharge.
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