Strong negotiation mandate for the European Parliament on the reform of detergents and cleaning products: Manuela Ripa MEP: “An important milestone on the path to sustainable products.”

The Members of the European Parliament have accepted, with an overwhelming majority, the proposed reform of the detergent and cleaning products regulation. This equips the European Parliament with a strong mandate for the upcoming negotiations with the member states and the European Commission.

Chief negotiator Manuela Ripa’s report (ÖDP – Die Naturschutzpartei) significantly improved the Commission’s proposal, expanding the scope of the reform. Manuela Ripa is very satisfied with the result:

Today’s vote is a crucial milestone towards sustainable detergents and cleaning products! With this report, we protect the health of our citizens and facilitate their purchases through readable and understandable information on products. We also safeguard our ecosystems and aquatic environment, thus improving the quality of our waters. In the future, detergents should be more biodegradable, meaning they must not contain persistent substances that remain in the environment, contaminating water resources, including drinking water. The report also aims to reduce the phosphate and total phosphorus content in detergents, the latter for the first time also in industrial products.

Furthermore, the report keeps up with the times by banning animal testing related to detergents. Instead, alternative testing methods are to be used.

So, the voting result is good news for consumers, as well as for our environment and animal welfare. Manufacturers will face equal competitive conditions, providing incentives to produce sustainable detergents.

To produce detergents more sustainably and consumer-friendly, the EU Parliament’s report emphasizes the following aspects alongside improved biodegradability:

Water and Environmental Protection

Phosphates contribute significantly to the widespread issue of nutrient enrichment in waters and the associated harmful growth of algae (eutrophication) across Europe. Lower thresholds for the total phosphorus content in detergents are proposed to further promote innovation in the industry.

Preventing overdosage

To avoid overdosing, which can lead to allergies and contributes to a worse environmental impact, product caps and measuring cups should feature more visible measurement scales and a minimum dosage indication. An important step towards more consumer information.

Consumer Protection

Critical product information should be available to consumers not only digitally but also directly on the packaging. The report stipulates that detergents must have clear and easily understandable labels. This also applies to refill products. The proposal ensures that consumers are informed about all ingredients, especially allergens, directly on the product. If needed, digital labels can provide additional information.

Animal Welfare

The report prohibits animal testing related to testing detergents or specific ingredients. Instead, alternative testing methods that already exist and are better suited to exclude safety concerns should be used.

For the first time, clear rules for vegan labeling in the EU for detergents and cleaning products are proposed.

However, on the issue of hazardous substances, Manuela Ripa wished for more. The EPP, right-wing populists, and parts of the Liberals prevented this. Currently, the report includes at least a review clause. MEP Ripa comments that “it is a delay on the path to a more toxin-free environment.”

The revision lays the groundwork for detergents in the future not to be based on chemicals derived from fossil fuels.

Member states are set to determine their position on the detergent reform in June. The so-called trilogue negotiations could then begin at the start of the next legislative period. Manuela Ripa emphasizes the need to defend the reform proposals adopted by Parliament for the benefit of consumers, the environment, our waters, and animals.

Press contact

Silke Lalvani

Brussels, Office MEP Manuela Ripa

Tel.: +32/(0)228 37739