Detergent industry increasing environmental commitment

Between 1996 and 2000, there was a 46% increase in the number of companies committed to the detergent industry’s code of good environmental practice, with 179 companies in 18 countries now taking part in the scheme, representing an average of more than 90% of the European industry.

The AISE’s (Association Internationale de la Savonnerie, de la Détergence et des Produits d’Entretien) code of good practice consists of a number of targets relating to the formulation of products and packaging, and active communication to consumers to encourage them to become more closely involved by proper use of the product. Using 1996 as a reference year, the targets are:

  • a 10% reduction per capita in product consumption;
  • a 10% reduction per capita in packaging tonnage;
  • a 10% reduction per capita in tonnage of poorly biodegradable organics; and
  • a 5% reduction in energy consumption per wash load.

The reports also reveal that there have been good performances on the household laundry detergents consumption target of a 4.6% decrease, and a 14.5% decrease in the use of poorly-biodegradable organic ingredients. Additional efforts are also required, however, on the packaging consumption trend, which is down 5.9%.

The AISE emphasises that these results have been achieved in a market where key factors influencing trends, such as numbers of households and numbers of washes, have been steadily increasing.

Achievements have occurred through activities such as a pan-European television campaign, and, with several cases, at national level with the support of local authorities or consumer associations.

The AISE and its member companies have reiterated their commitment to carry on the efforts already undertaken whilst also pursuing the process of dialogue with authorities and other stakeholders regarding the broad sustainable development agenda.

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