Blue Angel

Water Consumption

The Blue Angel standard emphasises to the manufacturer the reduction and optimisation of resources, including freshwater, which should be used in a responsible way.

Water Emissions

In the textile process, the waste water requirements for the direct discharge of waste water into running water must conform to specific values relating to oxygen demands, chemical content and toxicity. Additionally, the pH-value of the effluent must be between the parameters of 6 and 9 (unless the pH of the receiving water is outside this range). The temperature has to be less than 40°C (unless the temperature of the receiving water is outside this range).

These requirements do not apply if the applicant can attest that the discharge of their waste water into a community waste water treatment plant has been authorised by the state authority.

The community waste water treatment plant needs to fulfill the restriction requirements which are detailed in the communal waste water regulation report (91/271/EWG) of May, 21st 1991, by the community council.

Furthermore, each raw material fibre has some specific restrictions due to its waste water requirements.

Additionally there are specific requirement for the biodegradability of textile auxiliaries, finishing agents and auxiliaries for fibres and yarns.

Chemicals (Accepted/Restricted)

The Blue Angel standard regulates the use of chemicals during different processing states regarding their environmental impact on air and water, as well as their impact on human health and safety. Generally, it bans process chemicals that are toxic, carcinogenic, genetically harmful or toxic for reproduction, toxic to aquatic organisms, or cause ozone depletion based on the classification of GHS regulation (Globally Harmonized System of classification and of labeling of chemicals: EG/1272/2008).

Also banned are process chemicals that are listed as Substances of Very High Concern according to the candidate list of REACH (Registration, Evaluation and Authorisation of Chemicals: EG 1907/2006) chemical regulation.

Chemical Management

The Blue Angel sets no specific requirements on chemical management. Nevertheless, to prove the fulfillment of the requirements for waste water treatment and on prohibited substances, a reasonable chemical management system is necessary.

Consumer Safety

In addition to the prohibition of certain process chemicals, the Blue Angel for textiles sets criteria for specific product testing to minimise the danger of residues in the final product, e.g. formaldehyde, extractable heavy metals, hazardous colorants, phthalates and plasticisers, Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs), chlorophenols, organotin compounds, chlorinated benzenes and toluenes or dimethylformamide.

Air Emissions

The Blue Angel standard has precise requirements for air emissions
during textile finishing processes. During thermosetting, the thermosol
process, coating, impregnating or finishing a textile, including drying,
the sum of organic substances as a carbon total must not surpass 0.8 g
C/kg textile. Prior to carrying out the preceding processes, there is an
additional allowed amount of 0.4g C/kg textile from manufacturing.

Furthermore, each raw material fiber has some specific restrictions
due to air emission requirements. For the production of polyester and
for the use of print pastes, there are emission requirements for volatile
organic compounds.

Occupational Health and Safety

The Blue Angel standard bans process chemicals that are toxic, carcinogenic, genetically harmful or toxic for reproduction. It also excludes certain harmful substances during the manufacturing process, e.g. aromatic diisocyanates during the polymerisation and spinning process of synthetic fibres, the use of aromatic and halogenated solvents, biocides or flame retardants.

Management System

The environmental management systems EMAS and ISO 14001 are recommended as guidelines.

Social Responsibility

The Blue Angel standard’s basic principles and rights in relation to working conditions are equal to the prevailing labor norms of the International Labor Organisation (ILO). In order to receive a Blue Angel eco-labeling certification, there must be a guarantee that the entire supply chain has, at a minimum, complied with ILO standards:

  • Freedom of Association and Protection of the Right to Organise Convention, 1948 (No. 87)
  • Right to Organise and Collective Bargaining Convention, 1949 (No. 98)
  • Forced Labour Convention, 1930 (No. 29)
  • Abolition of Forced Labour Convention, 1957 (No. 105)
  • Minimum Age Convention, 1973 (No. 138)
  • Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention, 1999 (No. 182)
  • Equal Remuneration Convention, 1951 (No. 100)
  • Discrimination (Employment and Occupation) Convention, 1958 (No. 111)

Packaging

For the packaging of Blue Angel certificated products, no halogen-containing polymers are allowed. A picture of a sample of the packaging has to be handed in to the RAL gGmbH for inspection.

Usability

There are limitations for dimensional changes during washing and drying, and requirements regarding colour fastness to washing, rubbing and perspiration.

Consumer Information

Declaration on fibre composition must be made according to directive 96/74/EG. Notes for the care and cleaning must be made according to GINETEX (www.ginetex.de).

Raw Material

Natural fibres have to be of organic origin. Different requirements exist for synthetic fibres depending on the specific type of fibre.

Detailed information can be found in the RAL-documentation (currently only in German, soon also in English) here or by getting in contact with the RAL gGmbH team.

 

Criteria Blue Angel
Market AcceptanceLow
Energy x
Water ✓✓
Chemicals ✓✓
Air Emissions ✓✓
Occupational Health and Safety
Management System
Environmental Policy x
Social Responsibility
Audits and Validation
Implementation Tools ✓✓
Labeling x

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