Japan to Label Carbon Footprints of Products

Japanese goods will soon include a label with information about their impact.

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Japan announced today that the country will soon be labeling goods with information about their carbon footprint, similar to the way nutrition labels are displayed. Reports the Agence France-Presse, the labeling will begin in April 2009 and is designed to raise awareness of global warming and the transport and delivery of food. A similar system exists at the British supermarket chain Tesco. From the article:

The ministry's research shows one example of carbon footprint using potato crisps.

A bag of crisps emits 75 grams (2.63 ounces) of carbon dioxide. Forty-four percent of the CO2 comes from growing potatoes and another 30 percent from production of the processed food.

Another 15 percent comes from the packaging, nine percent from delivery and two percent from disposal of the bag.

Over at the Huffington Post, Dave Burdick wonders how the labeling might change for Japanese foods that are exported, like Sapporo Beer. No word on this yet. And carbon labels aren't likely to come to most American goods for a while, though a similar bill was introduced to the California Assembly in February by Ira Ruskin.

What do you think about carbon labeling?

I like to know exactly how many miles my food has traveled, including the miles I drive it from the grocery store to my home in my Prius.
I guess I'd buy the eco-friendlier chips, if they're cheaper.
I guess I'd buy the eco-friendlier chips, if they are more delicious.
I prefer my wines imported, my seafood flown in, my water bottled, and my food unlabeled.


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TAGS:
environment
Japan

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