UPSC Notes: Ecomark

Ecomark is a certification mark issued by the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) for products which are ecologically safe and adheres to the standards prescribed by the BIS. It was first issued in 1991 by a resolution. It is issued by the Ministry of Environment and Forests. Products that meet the prescribed environmental criteria, as well as quality standards set by BIS, will be issued the ECOMARK label.

Objectives of ECOMARK label scheme

  1. To offer an incentive to producers and importers to reduce the adverse impact of their products on the environment.
  2. To reward good initiatives companies take in order to reduce the adverse environmental impact of their products.
  3. To encourage consumers to be more environmentally aware in their day-to-day lives and urge them to take into account environmental factors also before making a purchase decision.
  4. To promote environmentally-safe products among citizens.
  5. To improve environmental quality and promote sustainable management of resources.

ECOMARK certificate and licensing

Manufacturers will have to apply for an ECOMARK label for testing and certification. BIS will carry out the necessary testing and certification process. Once the product gets a label, it can carry the ECOMARK label for a prescribed time period after which it will have to apply again for a renewed license to carry the mark. The minimum period for which the award is given is one year. The award may be withdrawn by the BIS if they find any misleading information. It can also withdraw the award in case of technology advancement or any other valid reason.

ECOMARK criteria

The products that come up for certification will be assessed for the following main environmental impacts:

  1. They have substantially less potential for pollution when compared to similar products in terms of usage, production and disposal.
  2. They are recycled, recyclable or made from recycled or biodegradable materials.
  3. They make a significant contribution towards preserving non-renewable resources.
  4. They must contribute to the decrease in the adverse primary criteria that has the highest environmental impact associated with the product’s use.

Points to be considered while determining the primary criteria for a product:

  1. The process of production including the source of raw material.
  2. The case of natural resources.
  3. Likely impact on the environment.
  4. Energy conservation in the product’s production.
  5. Effect and extent of the waste emanating out of the process of production.
  6. Product and product container disposal.
  7. Use of waste and recycled materials.
  8. Sustainability for recycling or packaging.
  9. Biodegradability

ECOMARK is a concept every IAS aspirant should know because it is a basic concept in the subjects of agriculture, industry, economy, etc. of the UPSC exam. This is a potential question in the UPSC prelims exam.

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