Consumers show power in environmental protection

By Hoai An - May 20, 2021 | 04:17 PM GMT+7

TheLEADERConsumers need to use their power in making purchasing decisions to express their attitudes towards businesses that are irresponsible to the environment, thereby creating pressure to promote sustainable production and consumption.

In a market economy, the consumer's decision to buy or not to buy is seen as one of the superior powers or known as the "fifth power", along with legislative, executive, judicial powers and the power of the press and media.

Spending decisions of the consumer community can shape the market, determine revenue, profit or even the survival of the business. Therefore, "the customer is always right" saying has become the motto of many companies and corporations.

In the past, the price and quality of products and services go first in consumers' decision but now, it is so different thanks to development of the market and the economy. They care more about other factors like businesses responsibility, the impact of products and services on the environment and society. In many cases, the consumer response can be more effective than legal sanctions.

'Fifth power' in environmental protection

Huong Dua company in Ben Tre province was administratively sanctioned for illegal discharge of waste causing environmental pollution, with a fine of VND370 million and had to remedy the consequences within 30 days.

The authorities of Quang Ninh province also decided to impose a fine of VND200 million on two businesses that violate regulations on environmental sanitation.

In fact, many other businesses still violate the law on environmental protection but have not been handled. Some other businesses are not conscious in improving products to reduce waste after consumption, making it difficult for collection and treatment.

In such cases, consumers' refuse is the most useful tool to create pressure to force businesses take their responsibilities and obligations to protect environment, limit waste.

It also gives warning to the authorities, market management forces, development organizations or even business partners, to make them have action to intervene and handle the situation.

As a result, it creates a fair, healthy market where responsible businesses with a sustainable vision are developed.

La Vie, a member of Packaging Recycling Organization Vietnam (PRO Vietnam), has launched bottled water products using plastic bottles made from recycled materials. Sales of this product record high increase, ​showing a positive response from the market.

PRO Vietnam emphasized that a healthy and fair market mechanism will promote sustainable production and business models, typically the circular economy model.

Consumers will be the real beneficiaries when have chance of using safe, high-quality products and services, enjoying a clean living environment.