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First environmental labelling standards released

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THE Australian Environmental Labelling Association (AELA) has released the first three final voluntary environmental labelling standards addressing adhesives, recycled rubber products and recycled plastic products.

The standards are used by the Australian Ecolabel Program as the basis of awarding the “Good Environmental Choice Label” and gaining recognition for good environmental performance.

These standards are the first to be released by the organisation after an extensive consultation process which commenced on November 15 2001.

Submissions were received from consumer and environmental organisations, Commonwealth and Local Government agencies, scientists, industry associations and individual manufacturers.

Additional standards will be periodically released relating to other industry sectors as they are endorsed by the organisation with a number currently under development.

Standards are developed along the guidelines of ISO 14 024: Type 1 Ecolabelling Programs.

The first three standards have a lifespan of two years and have application across a wide range of industries:

· Adhesives: including products such as wallpaper paste and wall coverings, adhesives for flooring, tiles as well as a full range of household and industrial glues for materials such as paper, wood and plastic.

· Recycled Rubber Products: including agricultural and horticultural supplies, building and construction materials and products, civil engineering products, road constructions, traffic management and road safety products, flooring and surface treatments, playground surfaces, stable mats, livestock flooring and house mats, household and office Supplies, sporting goods and retreaded tyres.

· Recycled Plastic Products: including construction and road materials, traffic management products produce containers, office supplies, recreational equipment and outdoor furniture, general household products, horticultural supplies, flexible packaging and sheeting, irrigation and agricultural equipment as well as raw recycled plastic resin.

The final voluntary environmental labelling standards were issued for public comment on November 15 2001 for 60 days. More than 200 industry associations, 300 environmental professionals, relevant State and Commonwealth Agencies and a large number of individual businesses and stakeholders were informed and invited to comment.

A large number of standards have at this stage been kept as a draft in order to allow for industry consultation and negotiation where the industry has requested it.

The final and draft voluntary environmental labelling standards are available for public download from www.aela.org.au.

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