ECNZ releases new cleaning specification

Environmental Choice New Zealand releases new cleaning standard to supersede all existing cleaning product specifications.

Environmental Choice New Zealand (ECNZ) has released a new cleaning specification, which will supersede all existing consumer and commercial cleaning product specifications, according to the environmental label.

The new specification, EC-58 Detergents and Cleaning Products, a draft of which was issued to ECNZ licensees and other interested parties for comment earlier this year, is expected to be formally released this month.

ECNZ specifications are reviewed and updated by the New Zealand Ecolabelling Trust every five years. A government-owned environment labelling programme, ECNZ is managed by the Trust with the label helping businesses and customers find products and services that are environmentally preferable.

This year, the Trust has consolidated eight detergent and cleaning specifications into a single EC-58 Detergent and Cleaning Products specification.

ECNZ general manager, Francesca Lipscombe, said consumers around the world are concerned with a company’s social responsibilities when purchasing products.

“The new specification highlights criteria related to social issues, such as hazardous substance restrictions for worker safety, requirements for training, clear labelling, and palm oil and palm oil kernel procurement responsibilities.”

Criteria include restrictions on hazardous substances (e.g carcinogens), complexing agents (contribute to water quality effects), surfactants (many are not aerobically and anaerobically degradable), solvents (indoor air pollution contributors), palm oil and palm kernel use and procurement, fragrance and colorants (both of which can be respiratory and contact sensitisers).

The newest development for the EC-58 specification is the inclusion of a criteria for microbial cleaners. This looks at how microbial cleaners (1) restrict microbes to commercial or institutional cleaners only, (2) include bans on the use of genetically modified organisms, and (3) require that the microbes are cleaning what they are designed to clean.

EC-58 also provides for single use laundry pods, with requirements for bittering agents, warning statements, and strength testing of soluble packaging, to address child safety. The single-use wipe criteria include strict flushability standards for disintegration testing, fibre analysis, and anaerobic bio-disintegration testing.

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