Wed, Jun 25, 2008 - Page 2 News List

EPA urges consumers to buy ‘green’

ENVIRONMENTAL CONCERN A senior EPA official said buyers should be looking for the agency’s Green Mark when they purchase computers and home appliances

By Meggie Lu  /  STAFF REPORTER

Although environmentalism and consumerism may seem incompatible, consumers can at least alleviate the impact of their shopping by opting for eco-friendly products, the Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) said yesterday at a press conference to recognize what it said were the nation’s “greenest” manufacturers and sales outlets.

“The success of green consumerism depends on a smooth flow between environmentally conscious upstream manufacturers, sales outlets and consumers,” said Yang Ching-shi (楊慶熙), director-general of the Department of Supervision, Evaluation and Dispute Resolution.

The EPA had been pushing manufacturers to adopt the Green Mark system since 1993, Yang said, adding that 313 manufacturers had obtained the EPA’s eco-friendly stamp of approval for 4,020 products by meeting the agency’s guidelines.

“For example, a green laptop is defined as a product that conserves energy, contains no heavy metals in the plastic parts, has minimal heavy metals in the metal parts and is packaged in a clearly labeled, recyclable casing,” Yang said.

Appliance manufacturer Tatung Co makes the most Green Mark products in the country, with 245, Yang said, including air conditioners and refrigerators.

Hewlett-Packard Taiwan and Epson Taiwan are in second and third place, with 209 and 163 Green Mark products respectively, he said.

Yang said the administration was surprised by the eagerness of stores to gain Green Store status in the past year, a status which requires them to: “Carry more than three Green Mark products, use energy conserving products in stores, sort and recycle their waste and educate their employees about green consumerism.”

So far, 55 enterprises with a total of 164 sales outlets have obtained Green Store certificates, Yang said, adding that about 700 more were waiting for inspection.

State-owned General Welfare Service Ministry and private companies such as B&Q and Far Eastern Geant now hang the Green Store certificate at the entrance to their outlets, Yang said.

When asked if large companies could rank higher on the list because they produce or sell more products than smaller competitors, Yang said: “The list does not rank companies based on the percentage of green products they make or carry, but ... they should still be lauded for their efforts.”

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