The eu ecolabel identi fi es products and services

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The EU Ecolabel identi fi es products and services that have a reduced impact on the environment throughout their lifecycle, from the extraction of raw material through production, use, and disposal (from cradle to grave) (Hale 1996 ). It is the only of fi cial ecological label within the European Union, as the corresponding regulations have been adopted as EU directives and published in the of fi cial journal. It is, of course, a voluntary label, although the competent body in each country is of fi cially appointed by each European Union Member State to be responsible for 176 L. Almeida
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collecting the corresponding fees. The fees are normally calculated as a percentage (up to 0.15 %) of the annual sales value of ecolabeled products. One of the basic principles of this label is to consider the environmental impact during the entire lifecycle of the product. There are several product groups, divided into the following major groups (in alphabetical order): beauty care, cleaning, clothing (including textiles and footwear), coverings (including textile fl oor cov- erings), do-it-yourself, electronic equipment, furniture, gardening, holiday accom- modation, household appliances, lubricants, other household items (including bed mattresses), and paper products. Other product groups are being developed, in coordination with the European Joint Research Center and with the participation of different interested parties at European and national levels. Criteria are generally revised every 3 years. Among the different product groups are textiles. The fi rst version for textiles was published in 1995; at that time, it was only applicable to cotton and polyester-cotton T-shirts and bed linens, following a detailed cradle-to-grave study by Danish experts. The last revised version was published in 2009 (Commission Decision 2009/567/EC of 9 July 2009); it was valid until June 2014 and was still under revision at the time of writing. The revised criteria have been published on 13 June 2014 (Decision 2014/350/EU). The criteria are divided into three main categories: textile fi bers, processes and chemicals, and fi tness for use. The applicant must provide detailed information about the textile fi bers and all the textile processes, from spinning to fabric fi nishing. This includes declarations and test reports, as mentioned in the Commission Decision. (a) Textile fi bers Fiber-speci fi c criteria are set for acrylic, cotton and other natural cellulosic seed fi bers, elastane, fl ax and other bast fi bers, greasy wool and other keratin fi bers, manmade cellulose fi bers, polyamide, polyester, and polypropylene. Other fi bers for which no fi ber speci fi c criteria are set are also allowed, with the exception of inorganic fi bers. The criteria for a given fi ber-type need not be met if that fi ber contributes to less than 5 % of the total weight of the textile fi bers in the product. Similarly, they need not be met if the fi bers are of recycled origin. In this context, recycled fi bers are de fi ned as fi bers originating only from cuttings from textile and clothing manu- facturers or from postconsumer waste (textile or otherwise). Nevertheless, at least
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