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EU Ecolabel Paints and Varnishes: Analysing product life cycles for a reduced environmental impact

EU Ecolabel Paints and Varnishes: Analysing product life cycles for a reduced environmental impact

The EU Ecolabel criteria are continuously developed with the aim of reducing the environmental impact of paints and varnishes throughout their life cycles, from the sourcing of raw materials to the disposal of used products.

The EU Ecolabel criteria for indoor and outdoor paints and varnishes set limits on the level of environmentally harmful emissions generated in the early production stages of EU Ecolabel paints.

When applied to a surface, paints may emit harmful gases called VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds), which immediately evaporate into the air due to their very low boiling temperature. This can lead, when paints are applied outdoor, to the formation of smog in the atmosphere, which has severe negative impacts on our health, the growth of plants and our surrounding ecosystems. For indoor paints, these harmful emissions end up trapped inside the home, which can cause potential health issues.  EU Ecolabel paints are required to strictly limit and test the amounts of VOCs they contain, to ensure they are safe to use – for consumers and the environment.

By considering the impact of products throughout their life cycles, the EU Ecolabel guarantees products with an enhanced environmental performance for producers, retailers and consumers. These environmental standards mean EU Ecolabel paints can be used as a benchmark for the EU’s Green Public Procurement criteria (GPP) on paints and varnishes, which helps public authorities purchase more sustainable products.

Sources:

https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=CELEX:32014D0312
http://granthaalayah.com/Articles/Vol3Iss9SE/88_IJRG15_S09_150.pdf
https://www.worldatlas.com/articles/what-is-the-environmental-impact-of-paint.html
https://foobot.io/guides/how-does-volatile-organic-compounds-affect-the-environment.php>
https://ec.europa.eu/environment/ipp/lca.htm
https://ec.europa.eu/environment/gpp/pdf/criteria_for_paints_varnishes_and_road_marking.pdf

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