Consultation concerning the new criteria for Nordic Swan Ecolabelling for Packaging for Liquid Food

Nordic Ecolabelling gives you the opportunity to comment on the proposal for criteria for Nordic Swan Ecolabelling for Packaging for Liquid Food. Your comments are important and will be considered by the national Ecolabelling boards and the Nordic Ecolabelling Board.

We look forward to your comments, which should be sent to the Nordic Ecolabelling no later than December 15, 2017 to be taken into consideration.

Nordic Swan Ecolabelled packaging for liquid food are assessed based on a life cycle perspective and fulfil high environmental and health requirements.

Please find the proposed criteria for download further down on this page.

Introduction to the criteria

Nordic Swan Ecolabelling has developed criteria for packaging for liquid foods. The criteria are intended to stimulate the development of renewable materials.

At least 90% by weight of the Nordic Swan Ecolabelled packaging must be made from biobased material. The product group definition is not limited to one particular type of material, but the ratio of renewable material must be indicative. Due to the requirements, primarily packaging made from biobased polymers (bioplastics) and comprising carton packaging can be Nordic Swan Ecolabelled under the first generation of the criteria.

Environmental benefits can be expected with regard to renewable material replacing products from a fossil source. This will conserve fossil resources and reduce emissions of greenhouse gases. The criteria therefore focus on sustainably produced raw materials, chemicals and waste, and on ensuring that environmental benefits are not achieved at the expense of the packaging's primary function, which is to protect and contain the food product.

Nordic Swan Ecolabelled packaging for liquid foods:

  • consists of a high ratio of renewable material, in order to conserve the Earth's resources;
  • fulfils the requirements of the traceability of wood fibre and the requirements of the certification of raw materials;
  • fulfils the high requirements made of constituent chemicals, for the benefit of health aspects, as well as opportunities for reuse;
  • does not contain recycled plastic or paper to ensure that no harmful substances migrate to the product.; and
  • can be recycled, which promotes the Circular Economy.

When Nordic Ecolabelling started to work with the criteria development for packaging of liquid foods various materials such as carton board, glass, polymers (plastic bottles) and aluminium were studied. The study showed that it is relevant for the packaging for liquid foods of various materials to be subject to Nordic Swan Ecolabelling, but the labelling is not an optimal tool for glass, fossil-fuel polymers and aluminium. There are no good opportunities to influence or distinguish the best products in the markets. The potential for environmental benefits is therefore considered to be low for these types of material and it is therefore assessed that Nordic Ecolabelling will not include these materials in this first version of the criteria development.

Packaging for liquid foods is not a traditional Nordic Swan Ecolabelled product, since here it is the actual packaging that is Nordic Swan Ecolabelled, and not the product inside the packaging. To make this clear to the consumers, a special label for Nordic Swan Ecolabelled packaging for liquid foods must be used. Guidelines for the use and placement of the label have also been developed. For example, the label should not be placed on the front side (shelf-facing side) of the product.


Nordic Ecolabelling is particularly interested in comments on the following issues

  • The requirement for the share of the biobased material (90%) in the primary packaging. (requirement O2).  
  • Ban on metal with the subsequent exceptions in the packaging (requirement O2).
  • Ban on recycled plastic and recycled pulp/paper/paperboard in the packaging (requirement O2).
  • The requirement for the full traceability for the biobased raw material in Nordic Swan Ecolabelled packaging that consists solely of plastic. For the constituent components, the mass balance method can be used (requirement O2).
  • Requirements that promote recycling of packaging (Krav O6‒O8).
  • Requirements concerning chemicals used in the production (conversion) of the packaging (O19‒O23).
  • Chemical requirements applied to polymers (O17‒O18).
  • Guidelines for using the Nordic Swan Ecolabel on packaging (Appendix 1).


Documents for download

Criteria proposal (Swedish)
Criteria proposal (English)
Background to the proposal (Swedish)
Background to the proposal (English)

Please let us know if you prefer a hard copy, and we will send you one by mail.

Who can provide input?

All people, companies and institutions who are interested in taking part in the development work of Nordic Ecolabelling criteria for packaging for food liquids can provide us with their opinions and comments. We would appreciate if you kindly distribute information about this review to whom it may concern, e.g. raw material suppliers, packaging suppliers and other subcontractors.

How can comments be sent in?

Your input is most valuable to our criteria development. We prefer to receive your answers via the form on our webpage, via mail or by e-mail to

For further questions, please contact product specialist
Ann Strömberg
e-mail: or
telephone: +46(0) 8-55 55 24 09

Consultation seminars

Nordic Ecolabelling will hold a consultation seminar in English during the consultation period in the form of a webinar, which you are welcome to attend. The Swedish Ecolabelling will then follow up on your comments after the webinar.

The date for this webinar has yet to be determined. Information regarding the date will be sent out shortly. If you are interested in attending, please contact Ann Strömberg for further information.

What happens next?

When the consultation is finished and the criteria documents have been adopted by the Nordic Ecolabelling Board, a compilation containing all consultation comments, and Nordic Ecolabelling's comments to these, will be sent to those who have commented on the proposal to Ecolabelling Sweden. Moreover, it will be published on Ecolabelling Sweden's website.

We look forward to receiving your comments no later than December 15, 2017.

Best regards,
Ann Strömberg
Ecolabelling Sweden

Give your comments on the proposed criteria here

Packaging for Liquid Food