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Certain members of the press have picked up on the news that the European Commission is to adopt criteria on delivering an Ecolabel to toilets and urinals and have used it to slate the EU, grouping it with such daft decisions as specifying the maximum curve of a cucumber or the fiasco over ‘deadly’ oil jugs and dipping bowls on restaurant tables. They are saying the exercise is a waste of taxpayers’ money.
Now regular readers of my leaders will be aware of my hatred of the expensive interference of the EU in areas of our daily lives in which it really has no business becoming involved, but in this case I am in support of the initiative and if the press wants our support in withdrawing from the EU it needs to be reasonable and it needs to get its facts right.
The Ecolabel initiative is not new legislation – it simply offers a unified way of showing consumers and professional buyers just which companies are genuinely producing sustainable products and which are merely taking their seats on the green bandwagon. It’s something individual companies will request – not another EU demand.
None of the articles I’ve read have mentioned the thinking behind this particular Ecolabel – the fact that our water reserves are seriously depleted and that any toilets and urinals carrying the Ecolabel will be helping to redress the situation by reducing the amount of water needed to flush away our waste.
None of them have admitted that if our toilets and urinals waste less water and perhaps use grey water rather than drinking water, it will save us money on our water bills and keep our food costs down – as food manufacture requires a lot of water!
A reader commenting on one such article has suggested that with even just 10% of toilets and urinals carrying the Ecolabel, there could potentially be an average of 105 million m³/year annual water savings in Europe. Maths was never my strong point but I understand that if you translate this into costs, it offers savings in water costs of Euros 298.2 million/year or savings in water plus sewage costs of Euros 388.5 million/year.
That’s an awful lot of money which, perhaps, even the EU could put to good use…
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7th November 2013