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Behind the eco labels: European Ecolabel

Pat Thomas

1st April, 2007

This is a Europe-wide label for non-food products including copy paper, dishwashing detergents, indoor paints and varnishes, hard floor coverings, textiles, televisions… even tourist accommodation. It covers a variety of environmental impacts such as production energy use, waste generation and recyclability, across the product’s whole life cycle.

Products must be independently certified and meet strict criteria for all the main environmental impacts. In the UK the scheme is administered by DEFRA; its flower label can be found on toilet tissue, kitchen rolls, paints and clothing. Some countries have national eco-label schemes,eg the Nordic Swan and the Blue Angel in Germany.

The Ecologist says

Because it aims to account for the entire life cycle of the product, goods carrying this label will be significantly ‘greener’ than most other similar products and will consume less energy, pollute less, or create less waste at the end of its life cycle.

This article first appeared in the Ecologist May 2007

To find out the truth behind other Eco Labels click here


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