Euro Coop has responded to a proposal from the European Commission to discontinue the EU Ecolabel for the “tissue paper” product group. The organisation, which supports the EU Ecolabel standard, has expressed concern regarding the initiative to halt it.
A sectoral body of the International Co-operative Alliance, Euro Coop represents consumer co-operatives from across Europe. In a letter to Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, the president of Euro Coop, Massimo Bongiovanni highlights the advantages brought by the label.
“As a recognised and rigorous standard, the EU Ecolabel allows us, as retailers, to buy trusted products from our suppliers, and we pass on that trust to our customers who can then make informed decisions about the environmental credentials of products. For some of our members, their engagement with the EU Ecolabel for tissue products goes back years,” he writes, giving the example of Coop Italia.
In 1999 the Italian retailer launched a private-label toilet paper with the EU Ecolabel, which has since extended to include tissues, kitchen roll and serviettes. Vivi Verde, Coop Italia’s private label of EU Ecolabel products, grew by 3% this year and has a turnover of €15 million.
Mr Bongiovanni also explains that the label itself is crucial for gaining consumers’ trust and allowing them to make conscious decisions about their purchases.
“Rather than diminishing the EU Ecolabel by discontinuing the Tissue Paper Product Group, we strongly recommend that further resources be directed towards the scheme in order to strengthen the EU Ecolabel as a whole and stimulate greater uptake of the label across the EU,” concludes the president of Euro Coop. His full letter is available on Euro Coop’s website.
Photo: EU Ecolabel on Coop Italia tissue products