The UK Government has put forward proposals for a new law that would make it illegal for larger businesses to use products unless they comply with local laws to protect natural areas.
These businesses would be required to publish information to show where key products, such as cocoa, rubber, soy and palm oil, came from and that they were produced in line with local laws protecting forests and other natural ecosystems. Failure to comply would result in fines.
International Environment Minister Lord Goldsmith, said:
We have all seen the devastating pictures of the world’s most precious forests being cleared, often illegally, and we can’t afford not to act as a country. There is a hugely important connection between the products we buy and their wider environmental footprint, which is why the government is consulting today on new measures that would make it illegal for businesses in the UK to use commodities that are not grown in accordance with local laws…
The law was recommended by the the Global Resource Initiative (GRI) – formed in 2019 to consider how the UK could ‘green’ international supply chains and leave a lighter footprint on the global environment by slowing the loss of forests.
A consultation on the proposed law is open until 5 October.