Food products may have to show carbon footprint on packaging soon
Customers could be able to see just how much certain products affect the environment if a new proposed bill is passed.
A Labour TD has proposed a Private Members Bill to introduce carbon footprint labelling on products we see daily on the shelves.
Duncan Smith, TD for Dublin Fingal, has said that companies and businesses need to be more transparent when it comes to their carbon footprint.
"I suppose it just occurred to me that I don't really know the carbon footprint of the tea or milk I buy," he said.
He added that there is a huge discrepancy between what companies say they are doing to be more carbon neutral and the reality of what they are doing.
"A lot of these big corporations have a very slick marketing campaign to say they are 100 per cent carbon-free or 100 per cent natural. Beyond that there is nothing to actually say what that means in reality," he added.
To be known as the National Standards Authority of Ireland (Carbon Footprint Labelling) Bill 2021, it is currently making its way through the Dáil and is on the second stage where the general principles are being discussed.
The Bill calls for the National Standards Authority of Ireland to find a new system to promote the use of labels giving information about the carbon footprint of commodities, processes and practices.
The EU Commission is also working on a similar labelling process but that is still being worked on.
While addressing the Dáil on Wednesday, Smith said that the government was mostly in favour of the bill but would need a year for the Commission to present theirs.
Some rural TDs were against the Bill but Smith believes that there could be huge benefits for Irish companies.
"If you have a choice between meat produced in Ireland and meat produced in Brazil, the carbon footprint would be considerably lower for the Irish meat because of the reduced transport costs," he said.
If companies were to go along with this, it would make it more obvious who what actually reducing their footprint and who wasn't.