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23rd June 2017
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Soapbox: Doing nothing is not an option, so here is your invitation
Yvonne Orgill, Chief Executive of the Bathroom Manufacturers Association, argues the case for conserving our precious water resources and invites everyone to become involved...
Whether you're a cynic or a supporter, whether you like it or not, labelling for water-using products is here to stay. And that's a fact so you'd better get used to it.
Latest estimates suggest that Europe is heading towards a drought and it will run dry in 2050.
By then there simply won't be enough drinking water to support us all. The population is growing fast and so too is our love of water-consuming devices. It's a no-win situation, so doing nothing is not an option and our leaders in the EU have pledged to act and they want to change our behaviour towards water and our tendency to waste it. There is no doubt about it - water is firmly on the EU agenda.
Water labelling (just like energy labelling) describes how much a particular product will consume if used correctly. Currently, the Water Label, devised and developed by the BMA, is the leading system throughout Europe.
The beauty of the Water Label is that it is a voluntary scheme, free of government interference. And because of that is simple and cost effective. Manufacturers, merchants and retailers contribute to the scheme and its costs are low. By the end of this year it will have seen massive growth and more than 8,000 individual products will be listed in its on-line database.
The alternative, favoured by some in the EU Commission, is a mandatory scheme called Ecodesign which is backed by legislation and run by the civil service. The scheme would be managed by people who don't understand the bathroom industry and gross errors, similar to the electric light bulb fiasco, could be made. The system would be gagged with red tape and because it would be a 'one size fits all' scheme, it would level all in the EU to a starting point which ignores the diversity of both regional cultures and plumbing systems.
So we have a choice:
1) Support the Water Label and become a Scheme Partner
2) Ignore it all and let the bureaucrats move in and set costs rocketing.
Since ignoring it all is not a good idea here is an invitation to join the Water Label as a scheme partner...
Scheme Partners are invited from all sectors of the water and bathroom industry to actively participate in new and cohesive marketing to promote the Water Label. The scheme is growing fast and major builders, retailers and manufacturers have publicly announced their support. The ultimate aim is to develop the European Water Label which is easily understood by all, offers choice to the consumer and by being voluntary is self-governed and cost effective.
Doing nothing is not an option.
You are invited to join the Water Label as a 'scheme partner'. In a nutshell, the European Water Label is/has:
* Voluntary labelling scheme and online data base showing water consumption characteristics of bathroom and kitchen products
* Portfolio includes a vast range of bathroom and kitchen products
* Devised and developed by the bathroom industry for the industry
* Leading scheme in Europe
* Accepted across the EU28
* Recognises different plumbing systems and effective in all territories
* Supported by UK Government
* Supported by major builders merchants and retailers
* Cost effective
* Easily recognised and understood
* Products are ranked/graded according to their performance
The Ecolabel is/has:
* Only for taps, showers, WCs and Urinals
* Eight sections - only for the top 10/15% of products
* Acceptability in Europe varies according to region
* No consumer information - pass or fail system. No grading or ranking
* Identifies products that have a reduced environmental impact
* Includes entire product life cycle, from the extraction of raw material through to production, use and disposal
* Mandatory under the Ecodesign Directive
* Provides an integrated framework which insists on design requirements backed by legislation
* Blanket legislation sets limits regardless of regional cultures and plumbing systems
* Dumbed down starting point for water using products
* Eliminates, by law, less efficient bathroom products
* Takes unstainable products out of the market
* Reduces consumer choice
* Operated by civil servants
* Burdensome compliance procedure
* Bound in red tape
8th November 2013