Do you recognise this logo?

The European Ecolabel was established in 1992 to encourage development of products and services that are kinder to the environment and allow consumers to recognise them easily. Despite being around for 20 years now, it has been slow to reach mainstream brands and products in the UK.

Using scientifically sound criteria, developed in a transparent way involving scientists, NGOs and stakeholders; EU Ecolabelled products and services, from production to use and disposal, have been assessed to reduce their environmental impact.

I only became truly aware of the Ecolabel when Sanex released its range of Zero% range of shower gels which contain no Parabens, Phenoxyethanol, Colourants or Phthalates. Although there is always much debate about what the greenest cleaning products are, surely its a positive step forward to have a brand with lots of shelf space in most mainstream shops, which carries the EU Ecolabel flower symbol.

To try and raise awareness of the scheme, a new video has been released to promote having a better spring clean using Ecolabel products. Its a bit cheesy but one question it might raise is, if Ecolabel products contain less harmful chemicals, making them better for you, then why does the EU allow non-Ecolabel products to be made available? Does that make them harmful to us?

Communications around this labelling scheme must be carefully considered, as the company behind Sanex, found out, despite being winning a communications award from the EU EcoLabel scheme itself. The Advertising Standards Agency recently upheld a complaint against Sanex Zero% for suggesting that it contains no man-made chemical ingredients remember the adverts with naked people rubbing brightly colour paint on themselves? Although the Zero% range contains around 11 ingredients compared to the market average of 23 ingredients, the complaint was upheld as the products do contain some man-made chemicals.

Perhaps this latest awareness campaign will boost consumer awareness of the flower symbol and encourage even more big brands to develop better products. But can it do this without confusing consumers about what it actually means for them? What do you think of the video?

To find out more information can found on the scheme visit and search for products in the catalogue.

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