Green products ‘should be the norm’

Green products need to become the norm on Britain's supermarket shelves and the most harmful products need to change, Government has said.

Ministers made the call as they published updates on progress with the Waste Strategy and the Sustainable Products and Materials programme.

Waste Minister Joan Ruddock said Government and industry were working together to make the whole lifecycle of products and services more green.

“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,” Ms Ruddock said.

“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 £5bn a year on their bills.”

She added that the credit crunch was making it even more important for businesses to use resources more efficiently.

The Sustainable Products and Materials report sets out progress with the piloting of ten Product Roadmaps, including the Milk Roadmap, launched earlier this year.

It also includes details of Government initiatives such as the agreement with retailers to take inefficient light bulbs off the shelves by 2011.

The summary of progress with the Waste Strategy revealed that the amount of residual household waste has dropped and household recycling is increasing.

It also showed the amount of commercial and industrial waste being sent to landfill has continued to fall and less biodegradable waste is finding its way to landfill.

Ministers said further work is needed to identify whether an increase in reports of fly tipping is a result of more fly tipping or improved information from local authorities to its Fly Capture national database.

Kate Martin

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