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Volume 205: debated on Monday 9 March 1992

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To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will issue a logo to be used in connection with eco-labelling; and if he will publish a copy.

The logo for the European Community eco-labelling scheme was agreed as part of the eco-labelling regulation in December. An environmental labelling factsheet, which includes the logo, has been deposited in the Library.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment (1) how many products he expects to have been awarded eco-labels by the end of 1992;(2) if he will publish a timetable for the introduction of eco-labelling.

The European Community regulation which will introduce the official eco-labelling scheme was agreed at December's Environmental Council. We expect that it will be formerly adopted at the Environment Council later this month.The Commission is aiming to launch the scheme in the autumn with 10 to 12 product categories. The number of awards of the label will depend on industry's response to the scheme.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment to what extent the use of minimum packaging will be a requisite of any product awarded an eco-label.

Under the European Community scheme the packaging of a product will be taken into account, together with the other impacts of the product over its lifecycle, in establishing criteria for the award of an eco-label.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment (1) what criteria are being set for awarding an eco-label to detergents, paints, carrier bags, bleaches and toilet rolls;(2) what plans he has for the award of eco-labels to services such as dry cleaning, car breakers, photographic processors or taxis.

Agreement has now been reached at European level on the first product categories that are to be developed for inclusion in the eco-labelling scheme. The United Kingdom is taking the lead in developing criteria for washing machines, dishwashers, hairsprays, soil improvers and light bulbs. Other member states have agreed to take the lead in developing criteria for photocopying paper, kitchen rolls, toilet paper, writing paper, paints, laundry detergents and other cleaning agents, insulation materials, batteries and solar heating systems. Other product groups, which could include services, will be agreed in due course.No proposals for criteria have yet been formally submitted.