EIGHTY-THREE percent of EU citizens claim they take into consideration the impact on the environment when buying products, according to a poll by Eurobarometer about Europeans’ stance towards sustainable consumption and production. The results of the poll were made public by Lucia Chovanová from the media department of the European Commission Representation in Slovakia, the SITA newswire wrote in late July.
Based on this poll, Greeks have the strongest environmental feelings – 92 percent of those surveyed answered that when choosing a product, its influence on the environment plays a crucial role. On the opposite end of the scale were Czechs; only 62 percent consider the influence on the environment when making a purchase.
In the poll conducted by the European Commission in April, questions were asked of more than 26,500 citizens of 27 EU countries and Croatia. Almost half of the respondents – 46 percent – think that environmentally-friendly products would be best supported by a combination of an increased tax rate for products harming the environment and a reduced tax rate for environmentally-friendly products.
All respondents were inclined to favour the idea of retailers promoting products with less impact on the environment. Almost one-half (49 percent) thought that retailers should increase the visibility and accessibility of these products on shelves or launch a “green niche” in their shops. One-third (31 percent) of the respondents said that retailers could best support green products by providing better information to customers.
According to Stavros Dimas, EU Commissioner for Environment, not only governments and societies but also consumers should get involved in the fight against climate change. By buying environmentally and climate-friendly products, customers send signals to producers who then react by manufacturing more ecological products.
About 72 percent of EU inhabitants think that in the future the so-called carbon footprint should be marked on product packaging. The stance towards this issue differed in member states, from the least-inclined Czechs (47 percent) to the most-inclined Greeks (90). The carbon footprint would state the total number of greenhouse gases – including carbon dioxide – produced during the life-cycle of the product, from its production to its disposal.
17. Aug 2009 at 0:00 | Compiled by Spectator staff