26 September 2015

Success! Only bio-based products in TC 411

ECOS welcomes the rejection of standardisers on 26 June, to extend the scope of work of the CEN Technical Committee 411 in charge of the development of standards covering horizontal aspects of bio-based products. The proposal was to extend the scope of work of the committee to cover products that do not contain a physical bio-content but have been partially derived from biomass.

Following European Commission’s mandate M/492 issued as part of the EU Lead Market Initiative, CEN/TC 411 has been working on developing standards covering horizontal aspects of bio-based products, including methodologies for the determination of the bio-based content, sustainability criteria, guidance on the use of existing standards for the end-of-life criteria, and labelling.

In a paper issued at the beginning of June, ECOS warned about the risk of green-washing and giving misleading information to consumers, as well as unfair competition for products for which is not possible to demonstrate a bio-based content.

ECOS strongly believes in the need for a standard to ensure the environmental benefits of bio-based products, in replacement of conventional products derived from e.g. fossil fuel. We, however, urge bio-based products to have a minimum physical bio-based content derived from sustainable biomass, which is verifiable and in a percentage that can justify the bio-based product qualification and the use of environmental claims. Bio-based products should be largely derived from biomass, and should help to promote the sustainable use of renewable sources in a circular economy.

Our full position on standardisation developments on bio-based products and the risk of green-washing can be read here.

ECOS is co-funded by the European Commission and EFTA

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