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Can you label the circular economy?


A highly respected European eco accreditation stamp handed out to environmentally sound products – launched 25 years ago – has huge relevance to the circular economy.

The European Union’s Ecolabel (EU Ecolabel) has clearly defined criteria and is reviewed on an ongoing basis to take account of advances in technology. Its flower logo adorns around 40,000 products, including accommodation, paper, televisions, paints and shampoos.

First introduced in 1992, it acknowledges brands that have gone above and beyond what they are required to do by law. ‘To use the label, manufacturers must produce goods that last longer, are easier to repair or recycle, optimise the use of energy, water and raw materials, and reduce CO2 emissions’, an EU Ecolabel factsheet states.

And it is being championed during the current EU Green Week programme as the perfect tool for promoting the transition to a circular economy.

Speaking at an EU Green Week event today, Karmenu Vella, EU Commissioner for the Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, said the EU Ecolabel has essentially been promoting the values of the circular economy for twenty five years.

“Companies trust it, because it’s reliable, and that brings greater uptake by supermarkets and hotel chains. Showing the value of creating a virtuous circle,” he said. “Ecolabel is about making sensible choices and modernising business practices. It is, quite simply, the future.”

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