New rules mean that ecolabel detergents for dishes, laundry and general cleaning will get rid of nasty microplastic and a bunch of problem chemicals.
Detergents will no longer be able to use chemicals such as triclosan, linked to antimicrobial resistance; boric acid, harmful to sexual reproduction; nanosilver, linked to neurological disorders; and phosphates that cause algae growth that kill aquatic life. All harmful fragrances are out too, and plastic packaging is being made recyclable. All in all, the Ecolabel for these products just got a lot better!
The European Commission will tomorrow write the changes into the Official Journal of the European Union tomorrow. Makers of the 4,500 domestic detergents and 300 commercial detergents with the ecolabel will have 12-18 months to adjust their products or lose the label, while new applicants will have to comply immediately. The label already clears from detergents ingredients that cause cancer, modify genes and interfere with reproduction.
Microplastic is a real problem. Lots of it is getting into water and animals, from fish and crustaceans to even tiny creatures like plankton. The stuff can be toxic. Scientists are still studying the impact all this is having, according to Wikipedia. The EU is now consulting citizens on microplastic pollution until October 2017.
The ecolabel is voluntary. Rules are regulated by the European institutions to encourage longer-lasting, cleaner and safer products. 38,760 European products and services have the ecolabel, from baby clothes to note paper. It celebrates its 25th year this year.