Climate change: Woman's plan for product traffic light system

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Image caption,
Lisa Condron believes the scheme would make Wales greener

A woman has called for a traffic light system to be introduced which displays how environmentally-friendly products are.

Lisa Condron wants everyday products to feature a red, amber or green colour, indicating its environmental harm.

This would better educate people about their impact on the planet, she said.

Lisa, from Tonypandy, Rhondda Cynon Taf, said: "I hear a lot of talk about it, but don't actually see anything happening."

Lockdown prompted Lisa to begin thinking about the impact she had on the planet.

She later discovered none of her clothes were made in the UK - which led her to wonder how much CO2 was emitted transporting them from east Asia to Wales.

Had all these items featured traffic light-style warnings - similar to the ones on food products which indicate their levels of fat, sugar and salt - she said she would have been able to make more educated decisions.

Image caption,
A traffic-light system indicating what food products contain has existed for years

Asked what she would if she was leader of Wales for a day, she said: "I think it's time that we made some action on climate change and our environment.

"So my idea was to have a traffic light system as you do on food. Everyone's familiar with them because they've been on food for years now.

"We can see from the traffic light system the impact of fats, sugars and saturates and salt.

"If this was on all sorts of products that you buy, you would know whether one product was better for the environment than another.

"I just want to switch over to being more environmentally friendly. But I don't know what is environmentally friendly and what is not.

"So I just thought of a traffic light system - where if there's a range of products on the shelves and I can see them.

"(If) one was red for the environment and the other one was green then I would go for the green."

Wales' mission to become carbon neutral

In 2019, the Welsh government declared a climate change emergency.

Speaking at the time, Environment Minister Lesley Griffiths said she hoped the declaration would trigger "a wave of action" as she declared an intention to achieve a "carbon neutral public sector by 2030".

Like the rest of the UK - Wales aims to become totally carbon neutral by 2050.

Last month, the Senedd approved the goal and set a number of interim targets which include a commitment to reduce net emissions by:

  • 63% by 2030
  • 89% by 2040
  • "At least" a 100% reduction by 2050

Should Wales adopt the measure, Lisa believes it can "really lead in green manufacturing".

"My message to the politicians will be: Please can we stop talking and start doing something."

Lisa believes that setting up the system would be good "for Wales, for the economy and for everybody that lives here".

Richard Walker, managing director of Iceland, which has its head offices in Deeside, Flintshire, said he "loved the idea", but warned it needed to be "clear and simple" for shoppers.

"It needs to be easier for consumers to navigate how environmentally-friendly or unfriendly products are," he added.

"The problem comes from the already complicated labelling. We already have to put high fat, salt and sugar labelling on.

"People are calling for a carbon tax (too). So whatever we need to do needs to be clear and simple."