Nordic eco-labelling scheme sets the pace

An eco-labelling scheme in the four Nordic countries has raced ahead in the past two years while the EC has been struggling to get its scheme off the ground. Criteria for 14 product groups have been agreed and almost 50 product licences have been awarded to manufacturers - although at least one sector is boycotting the scheme. Moves are now in hand to co-ordinate the two schemes, although it remains to be seen whether they will be able to reconcile their different commercial and environmental priorities.

The Nordic environmental labelling scheme was set up in 1989 by Norway, Sweden, Finland and Iceland and operates along similar lines to the EC's (ENDS Report 203, p 19).

Labelling criteria for the first product group, button cell batteries, were agreed in June 1991, and the first licence to use the official eco-label was awarded in December 1991 for copying and office paper. Criteria for 14 product groups have been agreed and 48 licences

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