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UK supermarket giant Tesco has announced it will drop plans to label all its 70,000 products with a carbon footprint logo, blaming the amount of work involved.

Tesco will now phase out the label, co-developed with UK-based Carbon Trust, after using it on just 500 products, and will consider alternatives to replace it.

A Tesco spokeswoman said the supermarket was phasing out the labels, but it still wanted to provide carbon information on products.

‘We will continue to use The Carbon Trust label on a wide range of approved products and will keep asking customers what information they would find most useful,’ she added.

In 2007, Tesco then chief executive Sir Terry Leahy promised ‘a revolution in green consumption’ and pledged to put the labels on 50,000 own-brand products.

The decision is a setback for the Carbon Trust, the previously government-funded body that created the label and advises businesses on cutting emissions.

Under the scheme, all Tesco products would have been embossed with the Trust logo, displaying information on a product’s label relating to its individual carbon footprint.

Tesco said that the calculation of each product’s carbon footprint would be difficult and it would take a longer period of time to finish the complete product line.

According to the Carbon Trust, more than 100 companies have adopted the carbon label in 22 countries.

Independent electrical goods company Dyson, bread-maker Kingsmill, and household appliances maker Morphy Richards are some of the other groups to have adopted the carbon footprint label.


Caption: Tesco will continue to use the Carbon Trust label on existing approved products. Image courtesy of: Michael Lee