Government launches plan to promote sustainable production and consumption

10/02/2010 Within the next three years, the Ministry of Environment (MMA in Portuguese) will work together with several actors in order to promote changes in our production and consumption standards. Soon, the current standards will no longer be compatible with the physical limitations of the planet and Brazil must be prepared. Thus, MMA intends to modify even supermarket shelves.

A set of articulated actions which claim to make a revolution in the consumption relations in Brazil is published on MMAs website for public consultation from September 21st to November 11th 2010. In strict consonance with the new legal marks, as the National Policy on Solid Residues and Conamas resolutions, the Action Plan for Sustainable Production and Consumption (PPCS in Portuguese) wants to put at the same table important actors from government, productive sector and civilian society to show socio-environmental responsibility is profitable and helps moving the country towards sustainable development.

Lets call upon society! The idea is to come out of comfort zone and act immediately, warns the secretary of Institutional Articulation and Environmental Citizenship, Samyra Crespo, also responsible for Saco um Saco campaign (that can be translated to Bags are dirt) which has already taken 800 million plastic bags potentially dangerous to the environment out of the supermarkets. As it was formulated, the Plan is an umbrella of intended and in course governmental programs and private sector and society actions, a positive agenda to show the efforts government and society are carrying out. The central idea of the Plan is to articulate among these initiatives, in order to foment changes to more sustainable production and consumption standards.

The new plan is available for contributions during the public consultation period that lasts 45 days, at the website Peoples life will be directly affected, that is why we are asking them to participate, through their civilian society, companies and public organs organizations, claims Samyra. Suggestions will be studied by the Steering Committee of the Plan and may take part of the final document, which is to be finished by the end of 2010. The Plan intends that conscious consumption stops being seen as alternative and becomes general rule instead of a market segment.

With six priorities selected for the first cycle, deadlines prediction and under constant monitoring, the plan is to be implemented within three years (2011-2013). The priorities initially selected are: education for sustainable consumption, sustainable constructions, environmental agenda in public administration (A3P in Portuguese), sustainable retail and consumption, sustainable public purchase and intensification of solid residues recycling.

PPCS is a result of the conclusion that Brazilian consumer is even more alert to sustainability issues. Researches from many institutions reveal that, if they were able to choose, considering prices and quality, Brazilian would rather consume environmentally friendly products. Samyra recognizes difficulties in establishing new production and consumption standards, however, she believes that with enough information and products coming to the supermarket shelves at reasonable prices and proven environmental responsibility, changes can start in short term.

This is the analysis that makes the Plans spine to be the articulation among several Brazilian society sectors to increase the sustainable products market and promote changes in consumption habits.

Source: Ministry of Environment.
3252 *Cecilia Kawall

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