Contrary to popular belief, it is not because an Ecolabel product that it is ecological. It is just one "less worse" than another. Explanations.
What is ecology?
The word "ecology" was born in France in 1874. According to Larousse, it means "the study of the structure and functioning of ecosystems". But today, this fundamental definition does not correspond to the use that is made of it. Indeed, the term "ecological" is associated with the non-polluting or non-harmful nature of the ingredients of a product, without taking into account the different stages of the life cycle of this product: extraction of raw materials, transport, manufacture, distribution, use, recovery. And in the era of "green washing", this term is used all over the place.
How was the Ecolabel born?
It was the public authorities which created the Ecolabel in 1992 in order to reduce the impact on the environment and polluting discharges in the field of household products and detergents. A step forward towards greater respect for the environment, certainly, but not exemplary either. Indeed, the Ecolabel was designed from its creation so that at least 30% of the products on the market can respond to it. Hence weak criteria, which require not the removal of certain harmful chemicals but their reduction or limitation. It therefore applies, by definition, to products from the petrochemical industry.
Slightly restrictive criteria
The Ecolabel is not bound by any rule concerning the protection of fossil raw materials. Artificial raw materials such as phosphonates, polycarboxylates and optical brighteners, which do not meet ecological or sustainable standards, are allowed. Only the complete biodegradability of the surfactants is compulsory. If there are stable residues, they are not taken into account. The manufacturer's business is not subject to any criteria regarding its production device or its management. Regardless of its location and working conditions. The Ecolabel is a European label, the criteria for which vary from country to country.
Products to avoid to be a truly responsible consumer
Phosphonates They are derivatives of phosphates. They are harmful to the environment.The perfumes Synthetic perfumes are particularly polluting. As for natural perfumes, based on essential oils, they can be allergenic. Optical brighteners These are molecules that absorb ultraviolet radiation and re-emit this energy by fluorescence. These brighteners present skin risks. Being hardly biodegradable, they are also dangerous for aquatic life. Chlorine It is a highly chemical and stubborn substance, released into sewers and watercourses.Over-foaming agents The foam decreases the effectiveness of the detergent. In addition, it is harmful to the environment. Artificial colors Avoid brightly colored products, even if they are a pretty lagoon blue or neon green. Thanks to the company Ecover, manufacturers of ecological cleaning products, which fights for the evolution of the Ecolabel.