Select Committee on Science and Technology Sixth Report


CHAPTER 5: THE CONSUMER PERSPECTIVE

5.1.  Better design, new technologies and regulations are practical measures which can be implemented in order to encourage a more sustainable approach to production processes and construction projects. To reduce significantly the amount of waste that society produces on a permanent sustainable basis, a cultural change must also be effected. The attitudes of individuals and organisations must be altered so that waste is not just viewed as being costly, but as being socially unacceptable. When compared to the implementation of legislation or the setting of product standards, this is a more complex and subtle challenge to undertake, but one which is absolutely crucial.

A throwaway society?

5.2.  In order to reduce the amount of waste we create, we must tackle the high rate of wasteful consumption to which our society has become accustomed. Whilst some products, such as carrier bags, are designed to become obsolete within a short amount of time, others are perceived to be obsolete because they have gone out of fashion. Dr Chapman from the University of Brighton lamented the large number of electronic products discarded, "the majority of which still perform their tasks perfectly," but which are no longer desired by their owners (p 213).

5.3.  This problem is particularly apparent within the textile industry, where the culture of "fast fashion" encourages consumers to dispose of clothes which have only been worn a few times in favour of new, cheap garments which themselves will also go out of fashion and be discarded within a matter of months. Mr Paul Ozanne, National Recycling Co-ordinator at the Salvation Army Trading Company commented that these garments "are quick to produce; the turnover is very fast; and the length of time they are able to be worn is very short" (Q 529). Furthermore, the rapid production of cheap clothes involves the use of low quality materials in garments of high complexity, which makes it difficult to capture any value from the material at the end of the garments' lives. Mr Alan Wheeler, National Liaison Manager at the Textile Recycling Association, commented that "fast fashion" items were "harder to re-use" and that there was "not much thought about how recyclable an item is at the end of its useful life" (Q 527).

5.4.  In recent years the Government have made good progress at encouraging the public, industry and local authorities to consider the ways in which they dispose of their waste, claiming in 2007 that recycling and composting had nearly quadrupled since 1996-97.[34] Yet whilst bringing recycling to the public's attention is undoubtedly a good thing, there is a danger that the public may not understand the real need for waste reduction. The North London Waste Authority argued that "while recycling has undeniable environmental benefits compared to traditional waste disposal, it is significantly less beneficial than waste reduction or product re-use. Whilst the success of both national and local recycling promotion is to be applauded, the success of the recycling publicity campaigns has seen the 'reduce' and 're-use' messages often overlooked by the public. As a result, there is a perception amongst the public that recycling is the best thing they can do for the environment. This can lead to a situation where excessive consumption is validated, provided the person undertakes a degree of recycling. This is reflected in the fact that total waste generated per household (including recycling) continues to rise" (p 482).

5.5.  It is clear that more needs to be done to reduce the environmental impacts of our lifestyles. It would be overly simplistic to say that consumers must be encouraged to rein in their consumption, as the purchasing patterns which members of the general public display are now ingrained within the fabric of society. However, there is scope for providing consumers with more information about the sustainability of the products they purchase, so that they can make more informed decisions.

Informing the public

5.6.  Mr Wheatley, Programme Director at the LGA, told us that members of the public appeared to be keen to adopt environmentally friendly behaviours but that there was "a great deal of confusion" about some of the environmental trade-offs that needed to be made, such as whether to buy a more energy-efficient product above keeping an older unit (Q 653). Other witnesses commented that consumers were often disproportionately concerned about specific sources of waste, without understanding the bigger picture. For example, many consumers were concerned about packaging. Ms Bickerstaffe, Director of INCPEN, pointed out that while the Courtauld commitment had been relatively successful at working with retailers to reduce packaging for food and drinks, one of its failings was that it had not addressed consumer concerns adequately. She argued that 97 per cent of products on the market were not excessively packaged but "sometimes it is not obvious to us as shoppers why it is packaged the way it is … the consumer needs just one example of excessive packaging to jump from the particular and say all packaging is a waste of resources" (Q 496).

5.7.  The CIWM added that it is important to "consider packaging from a full environmental cost perspective" as it can reduce wastage of goods or foods during transport or handling, and can prolong shelf life, all of which have considerable benefits upstream (p 337). Mr Carter from Unilever agreed that consumers did not always understand where the biggest environmental impacts of their products lay. He commented that whilst consumers could be concerned about the amount of packaging used, for example, for a shampoo bottle, they did not understand that the packaging was only responsible for around three per cent of the shampoo's total carbon emissions. Instead, the majority of its lifetime environmental impact arises from "all the hot water that they heat to wash their hair. Asking them to turn the shower off while they lather their hair is far more effective than us trying to take ten per cent weight out of the packaging" (Q 512).

5.8.  The CIWM thought that there had been a large focus on topics such as plastic carrier bags, disposable nappies and packaging, even though they constituted a relatively small part of the waste problem in the UK. They did acknowledge, however, that by changing public attitudes in these areas, it could "lead to altered awareness and performance in other areas with potentially even greater environmental impact" (p 337). Consumers had begun to question the sustainability of larger purchases; Mr Stokes from Volkswagen said that customers were becoming "far more aware" of how vehicles were produced and were asking for more information about how their environmental impacts could be minimised (Q 689). So it appeared that the battle of hearts and minds was already underway, but the challenge for the future would be to provide consumers with the appropriate information. The problem, as it appeared to the Centre for Resource Efficiency and Management at Cranfield University, was that "consumers have no metric for the material and disposal costs of products and therefore cannot value any improvements in performance against these in their purchasing decisions" (p 33).

ECO-LABELLING

5.9.  In order to provide customers with more information about the products they purchase, some witnesses suggested that eco-labels should be developed which would specify the types of materials used within a product and provide a rating regarding its sustainability. Although acknowledging that an eco-labelling scheme based upon full life-cycle assessments would be complex, Vitsoe suggested that such a system "would allow customers to make more informed choices" and would limit the extent to which companies could publicise their environmental agenda without backing it up with concrete waste reduction measures. They added that if eco-labels were to provide information about the predicted lifespan of a product, then it "would allow customers to make a decision based upon cost per year rather than directly comparing initial costs" (p 213).

5.10.  Dr Cooper from Sheffield Hallam University noted that an argument could be made for the provision of such information because "consumers have a right to know the planned design life of products in order to enable them to identify products according to their intrinsic quality … increased knowledge may encourage more consumers to choose products that last longer, thereby reducing waste from discarded items." He added that if consumers were provided with information about the expected lifespans of products, then this might "also deter people from discarding products prematurely" (p 51). An eco-labelling system has already been implemented to indicate the energy efficiency of electrical products. According to Essex County Council, this system has "clearly resulted in an increase in the uptake of energy efficient products and there is no reason to assume this could not be replicated for waste reduction" (p 461).

5.11.  Whilst Dr McDougall from Proctor & Gamble thought that eco-labels could be useful, he noted that there was a danger they could stifle innovation. If certain criteria were set in a fixed way, this could prohibit research and development teams from exploring new designs that may ultimately have less of an environmental impact. Therefore from an industry viewpoint, he thought that eco-labels would "have to be very carefully designed not to set a bar where people will reach the criteria and then not be able to go any further" (Q 524).

5.12.  Within the information technology (IT) sector, Mr Evans, Senior Environment Manager at Sony, commented that "keeping pace with the technology as we issue new products is very difficult" (Q 348). It was for this reason that Dr McIntyre, Head of Take-back Compliance at Hewlett-Packard, preferred a self-declaration system for the provision of information to procurers of IT products. She described the IT Eco Declaration used in Nordic countries, which took the best of all the various eco-labels and integrated them with a set of "general customer frequently-asked questions" against which the manufacturer could self-certify their product. She claimed that this system avoided the backlog that would inevitably develop if all manufacturers had to obtain verification from one body, especially at busy times of the year, so the time it took to get products to market had not been altered. In order to maintain standards, manufacturers contributed towards the cost of an auditing body which conducted spot-check audits (Q 346). The success of this system in assisting sustainable procurement could partly be attributed to the fact that it was developed by IT manufacturers themselves, "in response to increasing interest from public bodies in the Nordic region about the environmental attributes of products." Hewlett-Packard suggested that industry-led self-declaration systems tended to be "more workable than externally imposed standards" which risked being arbitrary and unfairly benefited one supplier over another (p 151).

5.13.  Some standards for environmental declarations and labelling already exist, which the BSI felt were the "first step towards ensuring the consumer can make an informed choice." Nevertheless, they added that "while a number of presently used symbols are recognized by consumers, public understanding of what they mean is poor" (p 72). The issue of consumer comprehension was also picked up by Dr O'Connor from Ecodesign Centre Wales, who noted that a wide variety of labels were used across the world for so-called environmentally friendly products, but the range of labels was "quite confusing from the consumer perspective." He added that any system would need to be standardised internationally (Q 393).

5.14.  In reality it is debatable as to whether it is really possible to construct a label which can sensibly compare such different environmental impacts as power consumption, energy efficiency and resource efficiency. This difficulty is compounded by the fact that manufacturers often lack information on the properties of the materials they use (as discussed in chapter four). Furthermore, there will always be factors which cannot be accounted for within a label, such as the distance a consumer travels to collect a product, the mode of transport used and the way in which the consumer uses it. Ms Sue Dibb, Team Leader for Sustainable Consumption and Business at the SDC, commented that "you are not going to change consumer behaviour just by putting labels on products. There may be a point at which it is useful to communicate that information to consumers, but it must be information that they can understand and use" (Q 573).

5.15.  Others were dubious as to whether consumers would really pay attention to a labelling system anyway. Dr McDougall noted that when consumers were questioned about their shopping habits and preferences, lots of people said "that they would pay more for green products or they would buy green products or environmentally friendly products" but what they actually saw in the marketplace was that "it is a combination of the lowest price and the best performance that closes the deal" (Q 511). The TSB reported that sustainability should not be considered above all other factors and noted that "as a general principle sustainable products should compete on technical performance." Where performance is comparable, price will be the main consideration. They acknowledged that "there may be scope for a marginal price premium" which some consumers would be willing to pay, as had happened with organic and Fairtrade products, but they pointed out that these were still "niche markets." In theory, more sustainable products should be able to compete on price if the full life-cycle costs are taken into consideration, but the TSB reported that consumers are "more motivated by the upfront cost of products, not the whole life cost" and due to the way in which products are costed, consumers do not see the added value. Therefore, the TSB concluded that other initiatives were needed to make these costs apparent to consumers (pp 251-252).

Encouraging change

5.16.  The provision of information is thus not enough on its own to encourage change. Essex County Council told us that "despite the almost universal acceptance and understanding of the need to recycle there still seems to be widespread ignorance amongst the public with regard to the concept of waste reduction or the need to take personal responsibility" (p 461). Consumers need to be educated about the importance of waste reduction in order to change, but their behaviours can also be steered by guidance from businesses and government. In the remainder of this chapter we explore some of the ways in which this can be done.

CHOICE EDITING

5.17.  Part of the difficulty in getting the sustainable message across is that consumers are overwhelmed by the amount of information and choice they are presented with. Some witnesses therefore suggested that choice editing should be employed, which the Sustainable Consumption Roundtable described as "pre-selecting the particular range of products and services available to consumers."[35] This is already practised to a certain extent by retailers and service-providers when deciding which products or services to offer, and by government when setting product standards. Whilst choice editing is already employed for issues such as energy efficiency, its use could be extended so that wider sustainability is given consideration in choice editing decisions. Ms Dibb explained that choice editing was required because a small number of "green" consumers would not be able to change markets on their own. Instead, the SDC believed that a wider, more inclusive approach was required; "we are not interested in a green niche that can afford to pay the extra for a premium-priced product. We are interested in all consumers, whatever their income levels, being able to have access to affordable more sustainable products." Choice editing did not advocate providing no choice, but instead involved "shifting the frame of choice," taking the least sustainable products off the market so that consumers could choose between the most sustainable options (Q 572).

5.18.  Miss Hannah Hislop, Policy Officer at Green Alliance, argued that a greater use of choice editing would reduce the need for eco-labels because consumers could "be assured that they do not have to make these complicated decisions" and would not have to weigh up the separate considerations (Q 573). Dr Chilton from the National Consumer Council agreed that consumers "need to be able to choose between products that are sustainable, not between a sustainable product and an unsustainable product." He added that although consumers "may be thinking about Fairtrade issues, organic issues, recycling issues" and might claim that these issues are important to them when questioned, in practice "most of us just deal with brand, price and convenience." He was not against the provision of more information, but made it clear that "expecting that alone to achieve substantial behavioural change is extremely optimistic" (Q 514).

5.19.  Defra Minister, Ms Ruddock, said that choice editing underpinned some of the work that Defra was carrying out. She told us that "if we can persuade manufacturers and retailers to only stock the most efficient in whatever respect we are talking about, whether it is carbon, waste or whatever, then it makes it much easier for the consumer to make an appropriate purchase. There is obvious value in choice editing." This type of work is usually carried out at the European level and Ms Ruddock cited the successful use of choice editing in setting energy efficiency standards for electrical items. She said that the A to G labelling system had "enabled people to make appropriate choices … but what we now know is it is having an even bigger effect on the retailers themselves. In terms of their competition policies, they have ended up wanting to present goods at the top end of that scale rather than keeping the whole range and so now it is very unusual to find any product below about a C rating. So it has had a major effect on retailers and that is why we think that choice editing is a very, very good tool" (Q 872). She noted that a European review was underway to examine the ways in which labels could be used to convey environmental information, including not just energy efficiency but also end-of-life waste considerations and carbon assessments. There was debate on the best way to provide such information and Ms Ruddock thought that "choice editing gets us further often than you might obtain with labelling alone" (Q 873).

5.20.  Once consumers have been educated about a certain issue, collectively they have the power to influence businesses. The North London Waste Authority pointed out that "as consumers are made aware of the environmental and social issues surrounding these products, they can choose to alter their shopping choices. This in turn creates a demand for products that manufacturers and retailers react to, investing in more sustainable products." As an example, they cited the large growth in the sale of free-range eggs and organic products seen in recent years, which was a result of consumer preferences (p 482).

Recommendations

5.21.  There is widespread support for waste reduction and the development of a more sustainable society. A strong campaign to increase recycling has meant that the waste reduction message has been overlooked and consumers are often ill-informed about the environmental impacts of their products and the way they use them. We recommend that the Government should continue to work with the European Commission to examine the types of information that should be included on eco-labels and promote the development of eco-labels which are clear and easy for consumers to understand, but we are not convinced that the use of eco-labels alone will be enough to change consumer behaviour.

5.22.  Following the successful drive to improve the energy efficiency of products, we believe that a similar strategy should be employed to encourage the purchase of more sustainable products which produce less waste. We recommend that the Government should encourage change by continuing to work with retailers to promote choice editing on the grounds of waste reduction. The use of voluntary sectoral agreements will be a useful strategy to encourage retailers to adopt this concept initially but, once established, we believe that consumer demand for the most sustainable products should drive businesses to stock products which achieve ever greater sustainability.

FINANCIAL INCENTIVES

5.23.  Deposit schemes on packaging used to be widely employed to encourage consumers to return items such as bottles or cans, but these types of systems have now largely disappeared. Mr Workman, representing British Glass, explained that this was because the infrastructure had changed in the UK; years ago "almost every town had its own dairy, its own brewery, its own soft drinks company and they used to fill and distribute locally. In today's world, if you take almost any product, like Budweiser or Stella beer, they are only filled in one or two plants in the country, so to build return containers from Aberdeen to London on Budweiser you are looking at huge environmental and commercial costs involved in doing that" (Q 265).

5.24.  Mr Hindley from ALUPRO noted that a "cash for cans" programme still existed in which charities and individuals could receive around a penny for each can collected and returned, but he admitted that interest had waned since the mid-1980s as the reward was no longer so attractive to collectors. He added that many local authorities now provided kerbside collections "which are a more convenient option" to recycle waste (QQ 266-267).

5.25.  Other methods therefore need to be employed to encourage consumers to think about their waste and shop more sustainably. In 2007, Marks & Spencer launched its Plan A business plan, the aim of which is that by 2012, the company will become carbon neutral, send no waste to landfill, extend sustainable sourcing, set new standards in ethical trading and help customers and employees live a healthier lifestyle. One of the strategies it has employed involves charging consumers for the purchase of plastic carrier bags at tills and donating the profits to an environmental charity. The company said that during trials of this scheme in Northern Ireland and the South West, customers' use of food carrier bags dropped by over 70 per cent, so the company had decided to implement this scheme nationally.[36] Mr Mike Barry, Head of Corporate Social Responsibility at Marks & Spencer, said that the company had not only provided the "stick" of the five pence charge for a bag, but had also provided a "carrot," by offering customers a free "bag for life" before charging was introduced (Q 540).

5.26.  The company had decided to use incentives as well as penalties. In January 2008 the company launched its "clothes exchange" which encourages customers to donate their clothes to Oxfam by rewarding them with Marks & Spencer gift vouchers. In March, Mr Barry said that it was too early to provide detailed statistics about the project but was adamant that it had been a success, both in terms of changing consumer attitudes and in business terms for the company. He told us that "tens of thousands of Marks & Spencer customers have bought into a different kind of model. Oxfam are seeing a significant uplift in their sales; we are seeing a significant diversion of clothing from landfill; and Marks & Spencer has seen the benefit of more customers coming back to its stores rather than going to its competitors. It is a toe in the water. I am not going to sit here and say that it has revolutionised the whole approach to consumption in the UK, but it is an interesting model around what you can do. We have therefore given the consumer an incentive to change" (Q 540). He added that "there are different ways to start to engage consumers in change. It is a long, hard journey, but you have to start changing your business model" (Q 541). Although these are only small steps towards tackling consumption and excessive waste, they highlight that opportunities exist for businesses to encourage waste reduction through the use of new approaches and sustainable business models.

EMOTIONAL ATTACHMENT

5.27.  Dr Cooper explained that while products "may be attractive at the point of sale … people still get fed up with them" (Q 79). Hence the key might be to make consumers keep their products for longer. One way to do this is to encourage them to form emotional attachments to their products, something which requires the ingenuity of designers. Dr Chapman explained that "the 'design for durability' paradigm has important implications beyond its conventional interpretation, in which product longevity is considered solely in terms of an object's physical endurance—whether cherished or discarded. In this sense, it can be seen that durability is just as much about desire, love and attachment, as it is fractured polymers, worn gaskets or blown circuitry." To him it was "clear that there is little point designing physical durability into consumer goods, if consumers lack the desire to keep them." He proposed that if electronic products were designed for consumers to keep for longer, they could be "transformed into conversation pieces—linking consumers to producers, though an ongoing and sustained dialogue of service, upgrade and repair." If appropriately managed, he suggested that such a strategy could form "part of the solution to issues of sustainability and design; enabling business to continue generating revenue whilst reducing the frequency of need for further costly manufacturing, resource extraction, energy consumption, atmospheric pollution and waste" (pp 213-214).

5.28.  The use of repair work was on the decline though. Dr Cooper cited evidence which suggested that the average household only spent around 60 pence per week on repair, a figure which he described as "virtually nothing." He thought this was partly because many products were more reliable than in the past, but also because people had lost the sense that products were investments for life; "they buy them, move the old ones out and get new ones in." Part of the difficulty, as he explained, was that "all too often the price of new products has come down as the products are made in countries where labour costs are very low, but they would have to be repaired in a country where labour costs are relatively high—the so-called 'repair cost scissor'." As retailers and repair shops are usually different companies, there is often no real incentive for retailers to encourage repair instead of replacement (Q 94).

5.29.  A word of warning was also given by experts from the Centre for Resource Efficiency and Management at Cranfield University who noted that "the relationship between products, people and waste is a complex psychological one" and that "as we have become conditioned to seek value in ourselves as individuals and in social groups through the purchases we make, we can expect any attempt to reposition this relationship to be socially challenging" (p 33). Understanding the factors which drive consumers is crucial. Mr Black, Network Director at the REKTN, said that "when we are putting together collaborative research programmes now, we try to insist on the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) being involved. The ESRC are responsible for giving the psychological bit of the debate: 'can you alter consumers' perception within this project?' You can make something that is really clever or you can make something that is 100 per cent recyclable but unless you can persuade the public to buy it, the research is pretty useless" (Q 455). ESRC research had shown that "a concerted strategy is needed to make behaviour change easy: ensuring that incentive structures and institutional rules favour pro-environmental behaviour; enabling access to pro-environmental choice; engaging people in initiatives to help themselves; and exemplifying the desired changes within Government's own policies and practices." Summing up, Research Councils UK added that "consumers want more reliable information on the impacts of the products and companies. They also want to know which impacts to prioritise when comparing products. Consumers need clear direction through incentives and disincentives rather than just education" (pp 225, 227).

Recommendation

5.30.  We recognise that addressing the multitude of practical and psychological issues which influence consumer behaviour is a complex and difficult task, but businesses are well placed to implement measures which encourage consumers to adopt more sustainable behaviours. Waste could be reduced if consumers were encouraged to retain products for longer and repair them when necessary, but this is usually an uncompetitive strategy and businesses cannot be expected to promote something which leads to a reduction in profits. Business models must therefore be developed which are both sustainable and profitable. Such strategies might include the production of modular products which can be continually added to and upgraded, or schemes that reward customers for recycling but which also foster brand loyalty. If repair work is to be encouraged, changes to the Value Added Tax regime may be required. We therefore recommend that the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform should work with retailers and academia to promote the use of sustainable business models and must review the range of policies and incentives required to accelerate their implementation.

A JOINT APPROACH

5.31.  According to Essex County Council, "better design and the use of materials without fiscal measures or actions which limit consumer choice will only influence consumer behaviour if there is a public groundswell against inefficient use of materials … the ultimate goal should be to ensure high waste generation whether it is by the public or manufacturers is seen as socially unacceptable. This will only be achieved through an effective, continuous and high profile national public awareness campaign" (p 462). EEF told us that "at the moment the consumer lacks the right information and has little choice about the environmental footprint of their purchased products" (p 118). Essex County Council thought that "a key role of Government needs to be to develop and fund an overarching national waste prevention message over a long period. Such a message must tap into the public consciousness and make use of the drivers which influence public behaviour in this area, many of which may not be associated with environmental concerns. As with all campaigns aimed at changing behaviour it is essential that these are carried out over an extended period and properly resourced" (p 461).

5.32.  In order to tackle consumption, Dr Cooper suggested a voluntary approach in which the Government could lead a multi-stakeholder debate within key industry sectors "to promote the use of life-span labelling, encourage longer guarantees to signify increased durability, and develop industry standards and codes of conduct on life-span labels and the availability and fair pricing of spare parts." He pointed out that certain technical issues would need to be resolved, such as whether product life-spans should be measured in periods of time or cycles of use. Clarification would also be needed about manufacturers' obligations, such as whether life-span labels would "make manufacturers liable to pay all costs relating to disrepair during the period in question" or whether allowances could be made for normal wear and tear (p 51).

5.33.  The Sustainable Consumption Roundtable, a joint project between the Government, the SDC and the National Consumer Council, brought together experts in consumer policy, retailing and sustainability to advise the Government on how to create consumer choices that "stay within environmental limits." Its report, I will if you will: towards sustainable consumption, identifies that in order to become more sustainable, efforts must be made by all three groups: government, business and the general public. Whilst none of these groups can take the lead alone, the Roundtable felt that "a co-ordinated approach can create the opportunities and responsibilities to accelerate change." It also highlighted that "the focus needs to be on creating a supportive framework for collective progress, rather than exhorting individuals to go against the grain."[37]

5.34.  In January 2008, Defra published its Framework for Pro-Environmental Behaviours[38] which had been developed "in order to improve the support Defra and its delivery partners give to consumers." This covers a range of environmental issues including energy, waste, water, air quality and biodiversity. The Government reported that "this new evidence base and social marketing framework for pro-environmental behaviours change includes a set of behaviour goals (agreed with stakeholders), new research on current and potential behaviour, an environmental segmentation model and an assessment of the implications for policy" (p 428). At the moment its two headline goals for waste are to "increase recycling and segregation" and to "waste less food."[39] Although these do not specifically address the high rate of consumption of non-food products, they demonstrate that the Government are beginning to take the right approach to changing consumer behaviour. The report recognises that:

"in essence, we should aim to encourage and support more sustainable behaviours through a mix of labelling, incentive and reward, infrastructure provision and capacity building (e.g. through information, education and skills). Greener consumers can help to build markets and establish new behaviours before they are taken up by the mainstream. The most unsustainable behaviours, including the consumption of poor performing products, can be discouraged through a mix of minimum standards, tax/penalties/grants and choice editing (including voluntary action by producers and retailers). We can help to move consumers further along this spectrum by ensuring that government leads by example and widens the mandate through policy debate and support for innovation (in products and consumption patterns)."[40]

Recommendation

5.35.  We endorse the message of the Sustainable Consumption Roundtable's report, I will if you will, that in order to reduce consumption, a joint effort from government, businesses and consumers is required. Whilst the Government's Framework for Pro-Environmental Behaviours outlines a good approach to address consumer behaviour we urge the Government to follow this up by using its approach to reduce the wastage of a wider range of products, rather than just food.


34   Defra Waste Strategy, op. cit., p 10. Back

35   Sustainable Consumption Roundtable, I will if you will: towards sustainable consumption, 2006, p 63. Back

36   Details taken from http://www.marksandspencer.com/gp/node/n/50890031/.  Back

37   Sustainable Consumption Roundtable, I will if you will, op. cit., p 1. Back

38   Defra, A Framework for Pro-Environmental Behaviours, 2008. Back

39   Ibid., Defra, A Framework for Pro-Environmental Behaviours, p 27. Back

40   Ibid., Defra, A Framework for Pro-Environmental Behaviours, p 21. Back


 
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