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Product Policy and the Environment: The Example of Eco-labels

Eco-labels analysed in this report are an instrument of product-oriented environmental policy. A comprehensive set of instruments has been presented in our previous studies (cp. Oosterhuis/Rubik et al 1994)2. A part of this set of instruments refers to information instruments, i.e., instruments which inform consumers and users about the environmental aspects of products. Eco-labels are also a topic of the recent work of the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO). In 1993, ISO founded a Technical Committee 207 which consists of different Subcommittes (SC). One of them (SC 3) deals with different forms of labelling. However, all listed instruments do not come within these three categories. In particulation obligatory labels, test reports and trade marks are not covered. Official eco-labels can be classified as type I labels.