EU Ecolabel for cosmetics gets a welcome boost

BEUC NEWS - 22.10.2021

The EU Ecolabel for cosmetics is being improved today. This will help consumers choose shower gel, mascara or day cream that are not only better for their health but also for the planet. In practice, the EU Commission is tightening the criteria companies must fulfil to be able to display the logo on their products.

Consumers who know the EU Ecolabel, trust it. With 3 out of 4 products displaying an environmental claim or label in the EU, the label comes as a reliable alternative to greenwashing. The label’s success depending greatly on companies’ take up, BEUC encourages manufacturers to use this reliable tool – instead of creating their own.

What’s new?

•  All cosmetics can display the label. Up until now, only rinse-off products were covered (e.g., shampoo, shower gel).
Benefits for our environment
> Ingredients must be more biodegradable when they end up in rivers and oceans; they are less toxic for aquatic life thanks to strict standards.
> Less and better packaging: amount is reduced to the minimum  and must be and recyclable.  Companies are encouraged to use recycled and refillable packaging.
Benefits for our health:
> Any cosmetic displaying the EU Ecolabel will be free of many problematic substances, such as: endocrine disrupting chemicals, nanomaterials, PFAS aka ‘forever chemicals’, fragrances in products designed for children or marketed as “mild/sensitive”, allergenic colorants and preservatives, phthalates, microplastics.

Background:
The EU Ecolabel is a reliable signpost for consumers to shop more sustainably. Companies operating in the EU have been voluntarily using the flower-shaped logo on their best-in-class products for nearly 30 years. It is used on more than 83,000 non-food products ranging from detergents, and paints to textiles and stationery. The label is managed by the European Commission and Member States, with the industry, retailers, consumer and environmental groups participating in setting the criteria.

More info:
BEUC blog , Sept 2021. 
EU Commission .