The European Union Green Paper on Integrated Product Policy (IPP) focuses on the three stages in the decision making process that strongly influence the life cycle environmental impacts of products:
The Green Paper advances the idea of differentiating taxation according to the environmental performance of products, for example applying lower VAT rates to eco-labelled products, or introducing other environmental taxes. The principle of producer responsibility has been integrated into the Directives on End-of-Life Vehicles and WEEE, but is likely to be extended in scope to cover other sectors.
The Green Paper saw the process of educating customers and companies as important in promoting the demand for more environmentally friendly products, and improved labelling and better information seems an inevitable consequence.
Keep up-to-date on the European Commissions latest thinking by bookmarking their IPP web site, where you can also register for an email update service.
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