The European Commission will introduce stricter limits to its EU Ecolabel criteria for cleaning products in June.
Commission policy officer Kristine Dorosko announced the update at the Cleaning Products Europe Conference in March.
She said the new criteria had been finalised and endorsed by member states in November 2016, following a two year revision process.
The major changes are:
• microplastics will be banned from products;
• removal of the derogation 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.
After the new criteria come into effect in June, companies holding the Ecolabel will have a 12-18 month transition period to adapt to the new requirements.
Ms Dorosko told attendees at the conference, organised by Smithers Apex, that the EU Ecolabel is "very niche".
"It covers only 10% of the environmentally best-performing products. If you have the label, it helps to differentiate your product on the global market," she said.
The next revision will take place in five years.