Pollution is much closer to us than many would think. In the EU, it is the largest environmental cause of premature deaths and various physical and mental health problems. Particularly at risk of suffering the consequences of air, water, or soil pollution are children, people with certain medical conditions and the elderly.
But polluted environments are not only bad for humans. Pollution is also one of the main reasons for the loss of biodiversity, which is one of the leading environmental challenges of our time. When pollution levels reach harmful thresholds, ecosystems cannot function anymore as they are supposed to. This means they are losing their ability to provide habitats to species and other essential services, such as carbon sequestration and natural decontamination.
In May 2021, the European Commission has adopted the Zero Pollution Action Plan, as part of the European Green Deal, envisaging a toxic-free environment by 2050. The initiative aims to reduce air, water and soil pollution to levels no longer considered harmful to health and natural ecosystems, and that respect the boundaries our planet can cope with, thus creating a toxic-free environment. To reach this ambitious goal, public and private sector operators are encouraged to make ‘Zero Pollution Pledges’ through the Climate Pact and the Sustainable Consumption Pledge to promote the best available ‘near zero waste’ options, and in general goods and services proven to be less polluting over their whole life cycle, with a focus on EU Ecolabel products.
The EU Ecolabel: Strict limits for a pollution-free future
The EU Ecolabel is key to contributing to the Zero Pollution Action Plan’s toxic-free environment objective. It is a transparent and reliable environmental label with a strong focus on toxic-free products, safe and sustainable by design.
The EU Ecolabel is in line with the European Green Deal’s goal to encourage innovation and business opportunities as it accompanies manufacturers in their green transition and gives them the opportunity to market sustainable products towards a growing number of environmentally conscious consumers.
By choosing products bearing the EU Ecolabel, consumers are given the chance to make an educated purchasing decision and opt for products that really contribute to fighting pollution.
By complying with the EU Ecolabel’s strict criteria on hazardous substances for their products, the label gives businesses a competitive advantage and strengthens their position as green market leaders. They are an example of what is possible in terms of environmental excellence – paving the way for making sustainable products the norm – the objective of the forthcoming Ecodesign for Sustainable Products Regulation, recently proposed by the European Commission. Notable EU Ecolabel categories that are in line with the Zero Pollution Action Plan include paper, furniture and bed mattresses, detergents, cosmetics, paints, and textiles and footwear. Compliance with EU Ecolabel criteria for these products ensures that harmful emissions are strictly limited along the entire product’s production chain, thus preventing pollution.
Browse the EU Ecolabel Product Criteria and the EU Ecolabel Catalogue, to discover more EU Ecolabel product categories that make a real contribution to fighting pollution, and find out how to submit an EU Ecolabel-based “Zero pollution” pledge by checking the European Climate Pact and the Sustainable Consumption Pledge pages.
For general information about the EU Ecolabel:
For information on the European Climate Pact:
All about the Zero Pollution Action Plan: