Restrictions looming on award of German Blue Angel label for graphic recycled paper

Photo copyright Blauer Engel
20 Nov 2019 − 

Paper with Blue Angel certification should be as white as necessary, not as white as possible, German environment agency says.

The German Federal Environment Agency (UBA) wants to enhance the profile of the Blue Angel environmental certification and is eyeing changes to award criteria for uncoated graphic recycled paper. This restriction for bright-white paper should send a clear message that product sustainability is paramount for this environmental certification. The UBA intends to make this change to strengthen the focus on environmental aspects and allow consumers to better distinguish between primary fibre and recycled paper grade

The UBA is currently working on a proposal to amend criteria for awarding the Blue Angel certificate, which will be presented to the ‘Environmental Label Jury’. This body will likely make a decision by mid-December 2019 about limiting bright-white grades in accordance with CIE for uncoated graphic recycled paper. Information available to EUWID suggests that this proposal entails no longer awarding the certificate to uncoated graphic paper made out of 100 per cent recycled paper with CIE whiteness of 140-145 or higher.

Previous suggestions to also exclude recycled paper with a CIE whiteness of 135 CIE (comparable with ISO in the 100s) from the Blue Angel certificate were ditched as they met with resistance from many paper mills.

According to the UBA, the envisaged change should be reflected in award criteria in DE-UZ 14a January 2018 edition from the certification award body RAL gGmbH. The new basic criteria document will be published at the start of 2020. Once published, the new award criteria must be adhered to by new applicants. These criteria would apply for a four-year period from January 2021 onwards for existing agreements.

This article is an excerpt from our article on the German environment agency's proposal to amend criteria for forwarding the Blue Angel certificate.

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