New European legislation has come into force which aims to significantly increase the number of product groups covered by its Eco-Flower labelling programme.
The regulation has been published in the Official Journal of the European Union and is said to reduce bureaucracy and allow faster criteria development and revision procedures. The goal is to increase the number of product groups covered by EU Eco-label to between 40 and 50 by 2015, with an emphasis on products that have the most significant environmental impacts and the highest potential for improvement.
The expansion of the scheme should raise the profile of the EU Eco-label at consumer level going forward and should benefit textiles and clothing that carries the “flower” as the label is known in Europe. Danish fabric supplier Penfabric Sdn Berhad was in March one of the latest European textile producers to be awarded the standard.
In order to pursue a harmonisation of environmental labels in the EU, synergies with national environmental labels will also be sought.
The scheme currently covers 26 product groups, including cleaning products, electronic equipment, textiles, tourist accommodation and campsite services. Today, more than 24,000 products and services carry the logo.
Important changes when compared to the previous regulation include lower fees and simplified criteria, as well as linkages to public purchasing and other EU policies. In order to respond to a growing demand for food and drink product categories, the feasibility of developing EU Ecolabel criteria for these types of products is to be studied in the future.