Shoppers urge retailers to ditch non-green products


Two-thirds of consumers want retailers to remove environmentally damaging goods from their shelves, according to research just released.

The report - 'Check-out Carbon' - was published by sustainable development charity Forum for the Future and found that over three-quarters of consumers want the UK government to set higher eco product standards, effectively banning environmentally harmful goods.

The survey of 1,000 consumers also revealed that 85 per cent of respondents want more information about the environmental impact of products.

Forum for the Future argued that shoppers want to use their spending power to tackle climate change, but can only do so with clear information on which products they should buy to limit their environmental impact. "Labels showing energy ratings on white goods and cars have shown how labelling can drive behaviour - both in business and among customers" - said Dan Crossley, lead author of the report.

Other steps proposed in the report for retailers, manufacturers and governments include -

  • providing more information on recycling;
  • removing high-carbon goods from sale - and
  • providing information on a product's carbon footprint.

Speaking at the research launch, Katherine Symonds, sustainability manager at Tesco said that customers were ready for such initiatives, claiming that two-thirds of Tesco customers understand what a carbon footprint is, while 80 per cent say they think about the environmental impact of the goods they buy.

Tesco is undertaking a pilot scheme with the Carbon Trust that has seen carbon labels introduced on a number of product lines (Click Here). Symonds said that the company was committed to introducing more carbon labels, adding that - "as consumer carbon literacy increases, we will be able to go further."

To download the report - 'Check-out Carbon' - Click Here