Ecomark - Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) [UPSC Notes]

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.

Read this article to know more about ECOMARK, as questions on it are expected in IAS Exam. Download the Ecomark notes PDF too provided at the end of the article.

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ECOMARK – What is the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS)?

A national standard body, BIS has been established under the BIS Act 2016 for the harmonious development of the activities of standardization, marking and quality certification of goods and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto. Aspirants can go through the details on the Bureau of Indian Standards Act 2016 on the link provided here. BIS has various functions like:

  • It provides safe reliable quality goods
  • It minimizes health hazards to consumers
  • It promotes exports and imports substitute
  • It controls over the proliferation of varieties etc. through:
    • Standardization
    • Certification and
    • Testing

The activities of BIS are mentioned in the table below:

Formulation of policies
System certification scheme
Product certification scheme
Compulsory registration scheme
The foreign manufacturer’s certification scheme
Hall marking scheme
Laboratory Registration scheme
Sale of Indian Standards
Consumer Affairs Activities
Training Services & Information services

What is Eco-Mark?

  1. The Government of India has instituted a scheme for labeling environment-friendly products to be known as ECO Mark.  Eco-mark is issued by the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) as a certification mark for the products which are ecologically safe conforming to the standards prescribed by the BIS.
  2. The Eco-mark scheme falls under the ambit of the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change. The scheme first saw its application in 1991.
  3. Eco-Marks helps in identifying eco-friendly products in the market. The mark is being issued in around 16 categories like food, medicines, chemicals, electronic goods, paper, lubricating oils, packing materials, etc.

To know more about Food Security in India, candidates can visit the linked article.

Objectives of ECO MARK 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

Civil Service Exam aspirants can learn more about the National Food Security Act, 2013 at the given link.

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.

ECOMARK – UPSC Notes:-Download PDF Here

Also read:

Frequently Asked Questions on ECOMARK

Q 1. What is the ECOMARK Scheme?

Ans. The Government of India has instituted a scheme for labelling environment-friendly products to be known as ECO Mark. The products include Soaps and Detergents, Paints, Food Items, lubricating oils, Packaging materials/Package, Architectural Paints and Powder Coatings, Batteries, Electrical and electronic goods, Food Additives, Wood Substitutes, Cosmetics, Aerosols and Propellants, Plastic Products, Textiles, Fire-extinguisher, Leather and Coir & Coir Products.

Q 2. Who will administer the ECOMARK scheme?

Ans. The scheme is being administered by the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS).

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