Addressing the Awareness Gap

Outreach, education and consumer information 
Many people still are unaware of the risks of some of the most common chemicals found in household and other products. Easy-to-understand labels, awareness campaigns and education programmes are three measures UNEP and partners are taking to address this challenge.

  • Communication campaign
  • Education
  • Consumer information
  • Product labelling

Solutions

Improve labelling and product information 
Consumers have the right to know the composition and potential risks of the products they buy, and producers need to be given incentives to make such information readily available. Labelling and sharing information on chemicals in products in a manner that is understandable by all its potential users, can play a major role in promoting responsible behaviour along the entire supply chain. The Guidelines for Providing Product Sustainability Information developed under the One Planet Consumer Information Programme and the Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management Chemicals in Products programme were designed to support countries and businesses in improving their labelling and certification. In addition, UNEP continues to promote increased access to product sustainability information related to pollution.

Support the #BeatPollution campaign
Public advocacy is indispensable for raising awareness around pollution and the risks for human health. #BeatPollution drives behaviour change and supports action by multiple actors by suggesting alternatives to citizens, presenting available solutions, identifying the benefits in areas such as health, economics and climate, and bringing about lifestyle change. Such campaigns are also an important means of nudging and supporting decision makers, creating political will, incentivizing governments and the private sector towards greater pollution prevention, control and mitigation, and highlighting producer responsibility to provide greener, more sustainable products and services.

Educate youth 
As the leaders of tomorrow, young people need to adopt more sustainable practices in their homes and future workplace. A modular education programme will be developed on the links between pollution, environment and health. This educational tool will help raise awareness among students and convey knowledge on pollution, including the linkages with climate change, biodiversity, chemical safety and lifestyle, and on the available solutions.