In December of 2013, UL Environment, a business unit of UL (Underwriters Laboratories), announced and launched its revised UL Standard for Sanitary Paper Products, known as the UL175 Green Towels standard. The standard consolidates, revises and updates five ECOLOGO Certification Criteria Documents (CCDs): CCD-082 Toilet Tissue, CCD-083 Facial Tissue, CCD-084 Table Napkins, CCD-085 Kitchen Towels, and CCD-086 Hand Towels.

Certification of products under the new version of the standard simplifies green purchasing for distributors and end users. It also offers numerous advantages for manufacturers, including: an even greater focus on protecting human health; additional broad sustainability requirements relating to the sourcing of fiber; and furthering reductions in greenhouse gas emissions.

Highlights to the updates in the standards relating to human health and safety include: enhanced restrictions on the use of active components which are potentially bio-accumulative and hazardous, and additional restrictions on use of chemicals which are classified as potentially carcinogenic, which have oral toxicity or which are very toxic to aquatic life, which may cause genetic damage, or which are classified as heavy metals. Additionally, any fragrance used may not include ingredients on the European Union’s allergens list and must be IFRA (International Fragrance Association) certified.

Environmental sustainability and impact updates include new criteria on packaging requirements; requirements for the sustainable sourcing of fiber (including a revised recycled content component and clearer rules for how to evidence the sourcing of fiber); improved limits on energy consumption; and requirements for biodegradable organic compound additives, including for optical brighteners.

Existing customers of the old sanitary paper standards had one year to test and convert to the new standard. The largest sanitary paper manufacturers are well on their way to being in alignment with the new standard by the Dec. 31, 2014 deadline, says UL Marketing Manager Jennifer Beech.

In addition to the revisions, a new wipers standard — the first to examine environmental criteria — will be launched at or around the same time as ISSA/INTERCLEAN in November, adds Beech. That new standard will use UL175 as a foundation. It will look at human health and environmental criteria for the certification of disposable wipers designed for a range of household, technical and other applications (excluding personal care).

Lisa Ridgely is a freelance writer based in Milwaukee. She is the former Deputy Editor of Sanitary Maintenance.

previous page of this article:
Composting Paper Towels Among Future Trends