Danish authorities have proposed an initiative to label food products with their projected environmental impacts. The proposal aims to give consumers more knowledge so that they can make environment-friendly decisions when purchasing a product. Decisions like this serve as reminders that we are able to control the damage we have done to the environment.
At this point, the global average temperature has risen by 1°C, and the planet’s threshold is predicted to be 1.5°C; therefore, all efforts matter because there is now a smaller margin to work with. Other than strict laws, it is also essential that governments inform the public of wasteful behavior in order to completely shift to a greener lifestyle. Initiatives like the food label project are a good example of what needs to be done to inform the public of behavior that needs to change.
Every year, the food industry contributes about 8% of total global emissions. They also produce a lot of waste, especially when packaging is not recyclable or biodegradable. Because of this, the Danish government aims to require a label that lists the product’s environmental impacts. Authorities will work with local supermarkets to implement this plan in order to better inform their citizens about the consequences of their purchases.
A critique of this proposal is the potential neglect of nutritional value. Most products are available with a breakdown of the calories, nutrients, and other ingredients present in them. There is concern that adding an environmental impact label will overpower the stickers relating to nutrition. It is, however, possible to reconcile the two. Labels can be made the same size and with similar writing in order to appeal equally to the customers’ eyes. When it comes to smart shopping, nutrition, and environmental impacts must equally be considered.
Denmark was praised for this move, as they seem to be committed to their promise to combat climate change. As a signatory for the Paris Climate Agreement, it is also necessary that the country continues their efforts towards a greener earth. While we continuously hear negative rhetoric regarding the planet’s recovery, we also must remain hopeful that things will change—and we should know that change starts with us.