TOKYO (AFP) — Japan is planning to label consumer goods to show their carbon footprints in a bid to raise public awareness about global warming, an official said Tuesday.
Under the plan, a select range of products from beverages to detergent will carry markings on the carbon footprint -- or how much gas responsible for global warming has been emitted through production and delivery.
Similar labels have been introduced in other developed countries such as Britain and France.
"We hope that displaying carbon footprints will raise awareness among consumers as well as companies of their emissions and motivate them to emit less C02," said trade ministry official Shintaro Ishihara, who is unrelated to Tokyo's governor by the same name.
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 C02 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.
The ministry plans to launch the project during the next fiscal year, which starts in April 2009. The exact number of products that will carry the labels is yet to be decided.
More than 20 companies joined a trade ministry panel in June to look at carbon footprints.
The companies -- including leading retailers Aeon and Seven & I Holdings along with Sapporo Breweries -- will show carbon footprint labels at an exhibition of environmental friendly products in December, Ishihara said.
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