New criteria for cleaning products introduced by EU Ecolabel 

European Commission policy officer Kristine Dorosko announced at the Cleaning Products Europe Conference in March that stricter limits to the EU Ecolabel criteria for cleaning products will be introduced in June 2017. 

The final criteria was finalized and approved by member states in November 2016, following a two year revision process. 

The major changes are as follows:  

  • Banning of microplastics from products; 
  • removal of the exemption for fragrances classified chronic category 3 (H412); 
  • stricter requirements on preservatives that allow only a sufficient dose to preserve the product;  
  • bio-based products must be sourced from sustainable plantations with certification required for palm oil, palm kernel oil and their derivatives; and
  • packaging using 80% recycled materials is exempt from all other packaging requirements. 

The update will cover the following six product groups: 

  • all purpose cleaners and cleaners for sanitary facilities; 
  • hand dishwashing detergents; 
  • dishwashing detergents; 
  • industrial and institutional automatic dishwashing detergents; 
  • industrial and institutional laundry detergents; and   
  • laundry detergents. 

Companies holding the Ecolabel will have a 12-18 month transition period after the new criteria come into effect in June in which they must adapt new requirements. 

According to Ms. Dorosko, the EU Ecolabel "covers only 10% of the environmentally best-performing products. If you have the label, it helps to differentiate your product on the global market."