Evaluation of Nordic Swan eco-labelling criteria documents for 8 groups of products containing surface active agents

The investigation assesses 8 Nordic Swan criteria documents for eco-labelling of various product groups containing surface-active agents concerning criteria setting and the scoring procedures of products. This study discusses the criteria documents with the intention to identify options for improvements including improved transparency, but does not in any way evaluate the Nordic ecolabelling system itself, nor evaluate the environmental effectiveness of the chosen criteria. Fulfilment of the intention of the Nordic Council of Ministers (NMR) * The intentions of NMR are not fulfilled in the studied 8 criteria documents in regard to the use of life-cycle approach in the criteria setting process, neither for defining the environmental impact nor as basis for the choice of scoring parameter in the criteria. * The precautionary principle is reflected in all the studied criteria documents but it is based only on the hazardous properties of the ingredients in various product groups. No complete risk assessments of the individual product ingredients are performed. The substitution principle is also a part of the criteria documents but no consequence evaluations are performed. Scientific evaluations of parameters for assessment of products * The calculation of ecotoxicity used for scoring of products is not scientifically justified, since the toxicity of single compounds is usually not additive. * No motivation or background data is given for the specified limits of single ingredients. * A uniform assessment of specific ingredients is desirable the different criteria

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