DISINFACTS | Special edition 2023

14 Universal recycling symbol International recycling code It's no book with seven seals! Sustainability: The most important certifications and labels There are many certification seals and labels that attest to the (supposed) sustainability of products. In addition to many reputable certifications, there are unfortunately also occasional "bad apples" that do not take actual sustainability very seriously or that do not even refer to an independently tested product. We have compiled a list of the most important reputable certifications and labels so that they do not remain a book with seven seals for you. The universal recycling symbol showing three arrows is probably familiar to everyone, as it has been in use worldwide since 1970 and can be found in slightly modified form on numerous types of packaging. In most countries, the use of this symbol is not subject to licensing restrictions. Manufacturers can use it to indicate that the material of the product is recyclable. However, this is not a guarantee that the material will actually be recycled. The international recycling code is a variation of the universal recycling symbol. The symbol also consists of three arrows, but a number plus possibly an acronym also indicate what material the packaging is made of. This primarily helps consumers when making purchasing decisions and sorting waste correctly. In some countries, thanks to modern technologies, sorting plants usually no longer need this code [1]. The EU Ecolabel was established by the European Commission in 1992. The label highlights products and, since 2000, services that have a lower impact on the environment than the market average. As a so-called "Type 1 eco-label" according to ISO 14024, the EU Ecolabel ‒ just like the German Blue Angel, for example ‒ fulfils the highest quality category for eco-labels. It differentiates between 24 different product and service categories. The EU Ecolabel is awarded by the respective national authorities of member states [2, 3]. EU Ecolabel KNOWLEDGE