Co-op uses eco-labels to knock rival brands

The Co-op is using eco-labels, promoted by the UK Eco-labelling Board, to differentiate its own-label products from brands that are refusing to participate in the EU eco-friendly labelling scheme.

The Co-op’s recycled bathroom tissue and kitchen towels will be the first to carry eco-labels in stores from next spring.

The UK Eco-labelling Board is stepping up efforts to promote its eco-friendly labelling scheme, which has been threatened by a manufacturer boycott (MW November 24).

Eco-labels are designed to help consumers pick their way through the maze of environmentally-friendly claims. They are only awarded to products which meet strict “green” criteria, but have been ignored by manufacturers who say consumer recognition is poor.

According to the Co-op, the introduction of eco-labelling is in line with the company’s “responsible retailing” initiative, launched after it commissioned a survey which showed environmental issues rank highly with consumers.

Wendy Wrigley, head of marketing, Co-op brand, says: “Eco-labels are awarded independently and so provide added reassurance that products bearing this label are less harmful to the environment.”

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