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Committed to sustainable use of chemical products

essenscia and its members are endorsing the principles of the Global Responsible Care programme. Taking care of a product throughout its entire life cycle is a vital element of this process. Among other things, this implies safe use through compliance with safety regulations. But it is just as likely to encompass limiting quantities to the minimum required to achieve the desired effect. Alongside the obligatory provision of safety information, there are also numerous voluntary initiatives. Both companies and professional sectors have launched various awareness and information campaigns in order to encourage professional users and consumers to use products sustainably. A selection of these is given below.

Sector initiatives

A concentrated detergent in a sustainable capsule

The Belgian company CHEMBO has developed an innovative concept in the world of detergency: the BCAP capsule. This refill of concentrated product can be screwed onto a spray containing water to prepare a ready-to-use cleaner. This innovative system is available in several formats which are all within the reach of consumers and cleaning professionals. The dilution can take place at home or in the workplace in a re-usable bottle.

This solution offers many advantages in terms of sustainability:


  • Reduction of the CO2 impact as less transport is needed : 1 truck of BCAP = 18 trucks of 500mL sprays
  • Reduction of water consumption during the production process
  • Energy saving during manufacturing

Waste :

  • Less plastic waste to be transported and to treat


  • Space-saving manufacturing and storage
  • Reduction in manufacturing lead times and faster packaging


  • Economical and practical in terms of transportation, space for storage, reuse of spray…
  • Total security during the preparation and use of the detergent: no direct contact with the concentrated product
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KitoZyme develops a unique non-animal and sustainable chitosan

Truly unique

Keen to get away from traditional chitosan production using crustacean shells, KitoZyme, a Belgian biotech SME based in Liège active in biochemistry and health, has developed an innovative technology to produce high-purity non-animal chitosan, exclusively from renewable, non-GMO sources without any synthetic manipulations.

KitoZyme has patented the process for the production of animal-free biopolymers and particularly chitosan, chitin-glucan and their derivatives.

For a better health

The chitosan is produced from non-edible mushrooms and is the main component of food supplements produced by Kitozyme in three main areas:

  • Weight Management
  • Digestive Health
  • Cardiovascular Health


Sustainable development has been a guideline since the origin of KitoZyme

1. At the time of incorporation of the company …

Valorization of co-products derived from the production of citric acid and edible mushrooms. The company works with major players in those fields, buying their co-products to manufacture truly innovative biopolymers with an important added value.

2. … and ever since

Some of the achievements:

  • Phase-out of ethanol usage in our production
  • Co-products valorization -> 15% reduction of organic load in wastewaters
  • Renewable packaging
  • Waste sorting for recycling (e.g. 1,800 kg/year of plastic films, 1,500 pallets/year etc)
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‘I prefer 30’ campaign

products sustainable use Campagne I prefer 30 NL

The use of laundry detergents has a considerable impact on the environment. Due to this impact, DETIC, COMEOS, the FPS Environment and a number of other partners are conducting an awareness campaign, which specifically targets consumers. The aim of the ‘I prefer 30’ campaign is to change certain practices in the use of laundry detergents, and to encourage people to wash at low temperatures. What advantage does this bring? It lowers energy costs and decreases CO2 emissions.

In 2014, this campaign reached over 2.420.823 people (20% of the Belgian population).

IP30 on Facebook.

IP30 online

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Cosmetics industry goes for truthful communication

The cosmetics industry in Belgium applies the DETIC Advertising Code. This code was extended to include a charter that seeks to achieve responsible advertising and communication. By accepting the text of this charter, the cosmetics industry acknowledges that it is important that advertising and commercial communication concerning cosmetics occur in an ethical and responsible manner.

Through the charter, the cosmetics industry undertakes to conduct commercial communication in a manner which complies with European and national regulations, and also with the self-regulation in force. In other words, communication must be sincere and truthful, and cannot be misleading. It must provide the consumer with information which enables him/her to make an informed choice.

In a nutshell, the charter aims at creating a common framework for a socially-responsible advertising and commercial communication on cosmetics in Europe.

Link: Cosmetics Europe

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Plant protection products continue the environmentally-friendly trend

products sustainable use gewasbeschermingsmiddelen tuinier

Our gardens form a valuable habitat for humans and animals. Many people like
gardening or using the garden for reading, playing with the children, growing vegetables … Gardens are also favoured territories for birds, bees, butterflies …

All this garden pleasure can be seriously disrupted by harmful insects, moulds or weeds. As a gardener, you have the freedom to choose how to protect yourself against these nuisances and to choose which products to employ in the fight against certain plagues. Mechanical methods can be used (e.g. weeding or hoeing), organic methods (e.g. introducing beneficial insects such as ladybirds) or chemical methods (e.g. use of plant protection products). This concerns the IPM (integrated pest management) principle, or the integrated application of different techniques to best protect the garden!

Plant protection products for use by non-professionals have evolved greatly in recent years. The plant protection sector is one of the most regulated in Europe. A product is only released onto the market after 10 years of research and development, strictly controlled studies that the industry must provide, €200 million of investments in trials and tests and an extensive assessment by the government. In other words, there is a whole set of measures that guarantee the safety of the products that are correctly used (as instructed on the label).

Plant protection products were divided into two groups on 18 August 2014. Products for professional use are indicated by the letter P on the label. Products for non-professional uses must be indicated by the letter G. This move is intended to better protect garden enthusiasts. From now on, non-professional gardeners have access only to garden products that meet specific conditions. These must have child-proof lids and a dosing system by which the customer can determine an exact dose. The advantage is that only the amount required is poured out and that these ready-to-use products no longer have to be mixed with water but can be used straight out of the container. Other stipulations are small containers (e.g. 150 ml) and labels containing all useful information. The use of small containers prevents product wastage.

products sustainable use gewasbeschermingsmiddelen tuinier 2

The plant protection industry has a high innovation rate: 8% of turnover goes to Research & Development each year. New molecules and compounds are developed to reduce the impact of these products on the environment and to increase the safety of the consumer.

Increased consumer safety has been proven by the PRIBEL study (Pesticide Risk Indicator for Belgium) commissioned by Phytofar and carried out by UGent. This study found that the total negative impact has fallen dramatically. The negative impact on water organisms fell by 20%. In addition, the possible harmful effects for the user fell by 55%. For bees the negative impact dropped by no less than 60% in the period 2005-2012.

That plant protection products are becoming more and more environmentally-friendly is due to the efforts made by the government and industry. Toxic products are being replaced by less toxic ones and a great deal is being invested in safer use. The great challenge for the industry lies in bringing on to the market less toxic products but the same guaranteed efficiency.

From 25 November 2015, shop assistants in retail outlets will require a phytology licence. This is a certificate that shows that they have the necessary knowledge of plant protection products and so are able to give correct advice to customers. Phytofar and Comeos will also provide a call centre and website through which non-professionals will be advised in the best way about the correct and safe use of plant protection products.

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Sustainable Cleaning: from charter to practice

Each year since 2005, companies active in the detergents sector have published a report on sustainable development. This report is based on the results of the Charter for Sustainable Cleaning. This charter was inspected by independent auditors, and signed by more than 200 companies. Of the 68 European manufacturers which signed the charter 51 are active in Belgium and 31 in the Grand-Duchy of Luxemburg. Check the figures In total, they represent over 85% of the detergents market.

The signatory companies have implemented procedures for sustainable development, and this, throughout the whole lifecycle of the products which they make. In addition, they are making serious efforts to improve their performance in sustainability. Each year, they publish a set of indicators of sustainable development. In 2012, new criteria were introduced for the products, in order to increase the charter’s relevance. You can find more information about this at www.sustainable-cleaning.com.

Indicators of Sustainable Development – Charter for Sustainable Cleaning – Excerpt – European Figures.

products sustainable use sustainable cleaning charter_EN

*per ton produced
**number of accidents compared to the total number of hours worked. This figure applies to the companies which signed the charter, and is expressed in 100.000s of hours worked/person

The signatories participated voluntarily over the eight years of the charter’s existence (2006-2014). In all of those years, the charter has proved its usefulness, for instance, decreasing energy consumption by 27% and reducing CO2 emissions by 19%. You can find more information about this at www.sustainable-cleaning.com/en.publicarea_sustainabilityreport.orb.

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Safe use of hair dyes

products sustainable use Ma coloration

Hair dyes are consumer products, which are subject to strict rules. As there is a risk of causing allergic reactions, it is very important that they are used safely and with care. However, the risk can be dramatically lowered by taking a number of basic precautions. The website www.mijnhaarkleuren.be was developed to help the user with this. It is an initiative of DETIC*, the FPS Health, Food Chain Safety and Environment, and CRIOC**. On this site you will find information on hair dyes, and tips on how to use these products safely?

*DETIC: Belgian- Luxembourgish association of producers and distributors of soaps, cosmetics, detergents, cleaning products, hygiene products and toiletries, adhesives and related materials and equipment

**CRIOC: Centre de Recherche d’Information des Organismes de Consommateurs

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Safe use icons for detergents

Products sustainable use Safe Use Icons_NL

In 2005, the detergent industry created a range of pictograms. They were applied to the labels of detergents and household products, and provide advice on safe use of these products. Each pictogram is accompanied by a short sentence of advice, but these icons can be understood even without the short text. Indeed, the pictograms were developed to be comprehensible without words.

In 2012, they were revised and improved further in order to make them communicate more effectively. The aim is to have them indicate very clearly how products can be used safely. This mainly concerns products sold in gel capsules or tablet form. A stewardship program was also developed in this context. The advice shown on them, must be systematically respected, in order to allow detergents to work effectively and completely safely.


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