Environmental Information in Instructions for Use of Consumer Products

The European Union has highlighted the issue of environmentally sound use of products in the context of Integrated Product Policy, IPP. Accordingly, consumers should have easy access to understandable, relevant and credible environmental information. Information about product characteristics is available in different forms and sources, but in many cases, relevant environmental information is not available on the product itself. The study described in this report was initiated in order to produce information on the state of user instructions regarding environmental information. User manuals of passenger cars and refrigerators were focused on, examining the advice which could diminish the harmful environmental effects of the use of these products. Other studied products included such durable products as textiles and furniture as well as such consumables as cleaning chemicals and recyclable paper products. The study raised many ideas about actions that could promote the status and 'eco-development' of instructions for use.