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Denmark to Hand out Subsidies to Economic Operators for Eco-labelled Products, Including for Clothing and Textiles

On 3 November 2017, the Danish Environmental Protection Agency opened a round of applications for companies wishing to label their products with the Swan label or the EU Flower. The Swan label and the EU flower are Denmark’s two official eco-labels which aim to guide consumers to choose environmental friendly products. In order to be used, the labels require that products meet a wide range of requirements, including with respect to the chemicals that may be found in the product.

The aim of the Danish Environmental Protection Agency is to increase producer participation in eco-labelling and to publicise the environmental and commercial benefits thereof. Subsidies can be sought for products in the following categories:

Swan label

  • Baby products with textile
  • Carpets 
  • Outdoor furniture and playground equipment 
  • Investment funds 
  • Pizza bakeries 
  • Schools/day care institutions

EU Flower or Swan label

  • Clothing
  • Textiles (towels, bed linen, curtains, etc.)

The subsidies to be granted reportedly amount to DKK 1,000,000 (around EUR 135,000). Candidates can apply for subsidies of up to DKK 99,000 (around EUR 13,000) per application per company. The subsidies can be increased up to DKK 200,000 (around EUR 27,000) if a consortium of companies collaborates to work with a consultant for a particular product category. The subsidies may only be used for consultancy assistance, however, and cannot be used for a company’s own employees or for the payment of eco-label fees. The application deadline is Monday 11 December 2017 at 12.00 Central European Time.

On 9 October 2017, the Danish Environmental Protection Agency issued an announcement reminding consumers that may be alarmed by hormone-disrupting chemicals that they should look out for the Swan label.

Both the Swan label and the EU Flower require that products meet a wide range of requirements, including with respect to the chemicals that may be found in the product. Swan-labelled goods, for instance, may generally not contain phthalates and therefore can guide consumers who wish to eliminate phthalates from their consumption habits. Phthalates are used to soften plastic, but several phthalates can have hormone-disrupting effects. This is true for, among others, four phthalates which are currently regulated by the EU, namely DEHP, DBP, BBP and DIBP.

The Danish Environmental Protection Agency further explained that currently over 15,000 goods and services are being labelled with the Swan label or the EU Flower. A wide range of products are covered, including, toys, furniture, clothes, shoes, sunscreen, washing powder, baking paper, building materials, homes, hotels and car washes.

The Danish Environmental Protection Agency reports that 85% of Danes recognise the Swan label, while 44% are aware of the EU Flower. In the following weeks, the Agency will carry out a campaign to spread awareness of Denmark's two eco-labels.

Since being introduced, the total turnover of eco-labelled goods in Denmark has been around DKK 8 billion (around EUR 1 billion).

Content provided by Picture: HKTDC Research
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