Carbon labels to mark Japanese products

Japan will create a uniform, government-approved calculation and labelling system to show the amount of carbon dioxide emitted during manufacture, distribution and disposal of products, the Guardian reported. The labels will appear on food, drinks, electrical appliances and dozens of other products starting from April 2009.

While the system will be voluntary, many companies will not want to be left out in the growing market for eco-friendly products, the report said. Japanese supermarket chain Aeonand, electronics firm Matsushita are among the firms already signed up to the programme.

It is unclear, however, whether consumers will view a product’s price or its carbon footprint as their top priority. In a recent survey, 80% of Japanese consumers said they would spend no more than an extra 2,000 yen (US$18) a month on eco-friendly products.

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