EU’s Ecolabel getting better still

BEUC NEWS - 27.01.2016

Furniture and shoes carrying the EU Ecolabel will become a lot greener and safer following a decision of last Friday (22 January) by Member States that such products may no longer contains plastics made of PVC. BEUC welcomes this as an important step to encourage the substitution of hazardous substances in daily consumer products.

The exclusion of PVC in products carrying the EU Ecolabel is a long lasting demand by public interest organisations and many Member States due to its harmful impact on the environment and consumers’ safety. PVC is manufactured using vinyl chloride, a carcinogenic substance, along with toxic additives (such as phthalates, lead, cadmium and mercury). Such chemicals also complicate recycling considerably. Other national Ecolabels, such as the Nordic Swan and the Blue Angel, have excluded PVC for many years. Industry pressure has prevented this to happen at European level. The EU Ecolabel is a core tool in the EU’s effort to reach a circular economy.

Also on the table and approved were requirements to increase durability, facilitate reparability and a better design for disassembly and recycling for computers, notebooks, tablets, furniture and footwear.

BEUC reiterates that the Ecolabel scheme is an excellent tool to help shifting products’ design towards a more sustainable economy.