Home Sciences Excess of ‘ecolabels’: Spaniards begin to lose confidence

Excess of ‘ecolabels’: Spaniards begin to lose confidence


The excess of ecological labels (450 according to the OCU) on products has generated an increase in mistrust among consumers, according to a study by ClickKoala and the Observatory of Local Production and Sustainable Consumption. Despite everything, almost half of consumers still trust these eco-labels.

For the report ‘Study on sustainable consumption in Spain’, the authors have surveyed 3,000 people over 16 years of age and a panel of experts made up of 299 professors, specialists and other profiles from 66 universities.

The objective of the study, as they advance in a statement, is to help distinguish between ‘greenwashing’ and what has a real positive impact on the environment and society.

The conclusions have shown that there is an “excess of environmental certificates” on the market that give rise to an informative “labyrinth”, since according to the Organization of Consumers and Users (OCU) there are 450 ecolabels in the countrywhich makes it difficult to understand its meaning and impact.

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The energy efficiency, the best known

Of the 21 stamps analyzed for being the “best valued by experts”, only one has been recognized by the majority of respondents, the energy efficiency certificate, due to its “very easy to understand” traffic light format and its appearance in all electrical appliances, the authors pointed out.

However, the ecological and social seals are well seen by society: 49% of Spaniards trust these certificates and only 10% distrust them.

In addition, in just two years the confidence of the Spanish in these stamps has decreased six points, from 55 percent in 2019 to 49 in 2021, while mistrust has tripled, since it has risen from 3 to 10 percent.

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Consumers want to be more informed about what they buy; 6 out of 10 Spaniards want information that the products “do not contain substances harmful to health” or that they “respect the environment”, and 5 out of 10 want to know if it has been “produced without child exploitation” or if it is “made in Spain”.

The researchers have concluded that the “information overload” due to the high number of ecolabels generates “problems” to differentiate which products are really sustainable.

To stop this “erosion of the seals”, they consider it necessary to work so that “its function is better understood”, which is to help consume in a “more conscious” way.

For example, the authors have assured that they are developing a search engine for sustainable products designed to “translate” this type of information through the criteria of specialists.

Full report: https://www.efeverde.com/storage/2022/03/Estudio-sobre-el-consumo-sostenible-en-Espa%C3%B1a_compressed-1.pdf

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