The European Commission adopted today new EU Ecolabel criteria for cosmetics and animal-care products, offering consumers across the EU the benefit of trusted proof for genuine green brands. Today, three out of four care products sold in Europe display an environmental claim or label, and yet many of these claims are difficult to understand or confusing for the consumer. The EU Ecolabel is a reliable third party verified label of environmental excellence, which takes into account the environmental impact of a product throughout its entire life-cycle, from the extraction of raw materials to final disposal.
Commissioner for Environment, Oceans and Fisheries, Virginijus Sinkevičius, said:
The most environmentally-friendly cosmetic and pet-care products can now be rewarded with the EU Ecolabel in a further boost to the success of the label since 1992. I encourage companies to apply for the EU Ecolabel and profit from its established reputation. The EU Ecolabel helps guide concerned consumers towards reliable, certified green products and supports the transition to a clean and circular economy.
The updated EU Ecolabel criteria will now apply to all cosmetic products, as defined under the EU Cosmetic Regulation. Previous requirements for cosmetics to be awarded the EU Ecolabel covered a limited range of so-called ‘rinse-off’ products such as body wash, shampoo and conditioner. The updated rules include ‘leave-on’ cosmetics such as creams, oils, skin-care lotions, deodorants and anti-perspirants, sunscreens, as well as hairstyling and make-up products.
In the animal-care sector, an EU Ecolabel can now be awarded to rinse-off products, such as soaps and shower preparations. This gives pet-owners the ability to choose products meeting the highest environmental standards and which are not tested on animals.
According to the latest statistics, more than 83 000 goods/services have been awarded the EU Ecolabel in Europe, showing strong market demand for certified green products. The number of EU Eco-label products available to consumers is expected to increase further with this new combined cosmetics and animal-care package. The EU Ecolabel supports the green transition and the zero-pollution ambition, at the same time as empowering consumers seeking healthy and sustainable options.
The European Commission is also encouraging everybody to make pledges related to zero pollution through the EU Climate Pact. This includes pledges to use best available, ‘near-zero waste’ options products and services that are proven to be less polluting over their whole life cycle, especially those awarded the EU Ecolabel.
The EU Ecolabel criteria help to reduce the environmental impact of products on water, soil and biodiversity, contributing to a clean and circular economy and a toxic-free environment. Independent evaluations verify that the EU Ecolabel cosmetic products restrict use of hazardous substances or of those that could be toxic to aquatic organisms. The revised requirements on hazardous substances are particularly ambitious as they set a total ban on substances that are carcinogenic, mutagenic or toxic to reproduction, on substances of very high concern, nanomaterials, those identified or suspected of having endocrine disrupting properties, phthalates, and perfluorinated and polyfluorinated substances, as well as on microplastics. The EU Ecolabel promotes the use of more sustainable and renewable ingredients, guarantees that packaging is minimised and/or easy-to-recycle, and that cosmetics perform as claimed.
The updated EU Ecolabel criteria replace award criteria in force since the 2014 Commission Decision (2014/893/EU). They take on board comments from stakeholders and recommendations of the European Union Ecolabelling Board.
Find out more
The European Commission is hosting a public webinar on 27 October 2021 to present the new requirements in detail, if you wish to attend, please send an email to JRC-B5-COSMETICS@ec.europa.eu.
For more information and on the EU Ecolabel or how to apply, visit: www.ecolabel.eu
- New EU Ecolabel criteria for cosmetics and animal care products: Brochure
- Factsheet on EU Ecolabel for cosmetics and for animal products
- EEB supporting video: New EU Ecolabel to tackle cosmetics greenwashing - YouTube
- Publication date
- 22 October 2021
- Directorate-General for Environment