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MEPs vote to step up eco-labelling

2009 elections - Environment - 02-04-2009 - 12:34
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MEPs voted on EU Ecolabel ("EU flower") system for environment-friendly products

EU Ecolabel ("EU flower") system for environment-friendly products

The European Parliament adopted a first reading agreement on the voluntary EU Ecolabel ("EU flower") system for environment-friendly products to become less costly and bureaucratic to use. The label has so far been awarded to over 3,000 products such as detergents, paper and shoes. The resolution was adopted with 633 votes in favour to 18 against.

The overall objective of the proposed regulation is to promote products with a reduced environmental impact through the use of a voluntary scheme, the Ecolabel scheme.
 
The proposed regulation sets general requirements for the development of the Ecolabel criteria for any goods or services which are supplied for distribution, consumption or use on the Community market. The criteria themselves will not be determined by the regulation, but by subsequent decisions, for each product group (laundry detergents, soaps and shampoos, tissue paper, camp site service, etc.)
 
Ecolabel for processed food - consider if only for organic products
 
As demanded by MEPs, before criteria for food and feed products are developed, the Commission shall first conduct a study to see whether it is possible to set reliable environmental criteria for such products.  It shall also be considered whether only products certified organic would be eligible for receiving the Ecolabel award, to avoid confusion for consumers.
 
No Ecolabel for toxic products
 
To meet high expectations of quality and chemical safety, the Ecolabel should not in principle be awarded to goods containing substances of very high concern (e.g. toxic, hazardous to the environment, carcinogenic, mutagenic or toxic for reproduction), as demanded by MEPs.
 
Considering reduced animal testing
 
Specific Ecolabel criteria for each product group are set by the Commission. To obtain the Ecolabel, products and services must meet stringent environmental criteria which are agreed at European level following wide consultation with experts from industry, environmental and consumer organisations and trade unions.
 
As demanded by MEPs want the Commission to ensure that reducing animal testing shall be taken into account in the development and revision of the award criteria for Ecolabel product groups, in addition to the environmental performance criteria proposed by the Commission (such as impact on climate change, energy and resource consumption and waste generation).
 
REF.: 20090331IPR53012