On June 4, French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe announced that the destruction of unsold consumer products is to be prohibited, and it will become compulsory to reuse or recycle such goods.
The ban on the destruction of non-food goods – such as clothing, electronic items, hygiene products and cosmetics – would come into force within the next four years. According to the French prime minister’s office, more than 650 million euro’s worth of consumer products are thrown away or destroyed in France, which is five times the value of goods that people donate to charity.
said Philippe when he announced the measures at a Paris discount store.
Junior environment minister Brune Poirson promised in January to solve the problem of consumer products that are thrown away, after a television documentary proved that the online store Amazon was destroying millions of items returned by its customers.
The British fashion house Burberry has also caused outrage last year when it admitted burning unsold goods worth some 28.6 million pounds a year to prevent them being sold off cheaply. The French prime minister has stated that special provisions were being considered for the luxury sector to force companies to reuse products.
Although consumers consider price and quality to be the paramount criteria, more than half of them would be willing to pay more for recyclable and sustainable products, a new international survey by Accenture has found.
The freshwater reserves of Earth are at an increased risk from large-scale environmental pollution and wasteful water use: the quantity of available drinking water is gradually dropping, while its quality deteriorates. And yet, instead of saving it, we use drinking water to flush our toilets, although greywater would be quite suitable for that purpose.
We might believe that humanity’s daily use of water mostly comes from bathing, cooking and drinking. But the operation of our electric equipment, meat production and the production of plastic boxes also consume a great deal of water, much of which is needlessly wasted.
The fashion industry has a massive ecological footprint: the raw materials, the production, the transportation and the burning of unsold clothes all result in significant carbon emissions and wasted water. There is one item of clothing that is above all the rest in terms of environmental pollution: the ever-popular jeans.
Food overproduction is an increasingly severe problem worldwide, and it goes hand in hand with industrial level wasting of water. In addition to the health considerations associated with what’s on our plates, conscious consumer decisions can also help to combat climate change to some extent.
Environmental and social sustainability is an important criterion in the investment habits of young Hungarians: they are increasingly investing in consciously ethical companies – this was one of the conclusions of a conference on innovative financing schemes of the Hungarian Economic Association.
The fashion industry is in ‘prestigious’ second place on the list of high-pollution industries (with significant carbon emissions, water wastage and chemical pollution). As conscious consumers, we don’t only need to watch what we eat, but also what clothes we have in our wardrobes.
We have entered a new era in which climate change has become a palpable, daily reality: not a single day passes without encountering the frightening consequences of global warming either directly, while we are out and about, or indirectly, through the news. This unprecedented situation is eliciting new reactions from 21st century humans.
Clean, potable drinking water is a question of life and death. That is why the Ministry for Innovation and Technology of Hungary has launched an exemplary, one-billion forint fund to support water awareness and promote environmentally conscious consumption of water; an initiative that may inspire others.
In its campaign launched to protect the oceans and seas, the European Union is using well-known figures such as the Smurfs. They say that the little guys are a good choice because they live in nature, they are blue, and their message reaches far and wide.