Green chemistry refers to the application of a number of principles that reduce or eliminate the use or the production of hazardous substances during planning, the production and use of chemical products. Green chemistry products are defined as products that are free of toxic and hazardous substances. In this category, eco-labelling or product certification is considered necessary.
Indicatively, green chemistry products include bioplastics, natural detergents, natural cosmetics, paint/dyes bearing an eco-label and/or containing natural ingredients, fire-resistant materials without hazardous combustion retardants, lead-free products, wood products that do not contain formaldehyde.
Possible applications/ investment plans apply to businesses involved in:
The production of chemicals by replacing the use of synthetic toxic solvents with pressurised air and/or dilution in water is a characteristic example of green technology in practice.
The adoption of green chemistry products and practices leads to a reduction of the negative effects on flora, fauna and humans. Furthermore, industry, and the chemical industry in particular, is encouraged to design safer products, upgrade operations from an environmental point of view, adopt technological developments, comply with the legal framework and, therefore, improve competitiveness and the sustainability of existing businesses.
Eco-labelling or certification of such products is voluntary (such as the European Union Ecolabel, the “Blue Angel” instituted by the German Ministry of the Environment, the US “Green Seal” etc.). Nevertheless, the market (production, packaging, and sale) of green chemistry products renders certification compulsory.
The Supreme Ecolabel Awarding Council (PERPA - ASAOS) is the national entity responsible for awarding the EU Ecolabel in Greece. It operates in accordance with European Regulation 66/2010 and the label is awarded on the basis of the ecological criteria instituted for 11 categories of products and 2 categories of services.