Eco-label criteria agreed for paints and detergents

Eco-labelling criteria for laundry detergents and indoor paints and varnishes have at last been agreed at EC level. The new "greener" Member States made their mark by arguing successfully for tougher criteria for detergents. It remains to be seen whether paint and detergent producers will participate in the scheme.

Officials from the Member States voted on both sets of criteria at a Regulatory Committee meeting on 14 February. Wrangles over some issues continued until the eleventh hour.

An agreement was important for the eco-labelling scheme because it has made virtually no impact on consumers. Only one company, Hoover, applied for an eco-label for washing machines, the first product group to go through the scheme. Late last year, criteria were adop

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