You are here:




  1. Editorial

  2. DETIC shines at Greener Packaging Awards

  3. DETIC signs the sustainable palm oil charter

  4. I prefer 30° – promoting the second campaign

  5. New advertising code for the cosmetics sector

  6. ConstruBook

  7. The invited article

  8. In short




Circular economy – towards bio-sourcing? It is not that easy...

For almost 20 years now, the DETIC sectors have focused on solutions, production methods and products that are part of a ‘sustainable development’ approach. More specifically, in terms of the environment, two focal points clearly govern most current initiatives: the quest for sustainable sources of supply and the change in consumption patterns in favour of responsible consumption. In fact, the life-cycle approach applied to our sectors highlights two crucial phases for assessing the environmental impact of our products: the selection and the use of raw materials. These are the stages where action is necessary to further reduce the environmental footprint of our products,  particularly their impact on biodiversity.


The current approach also aims to change production and product design methods by integrating them into the circular economy concept. Among other features, this model advocates waste processing or recycling in order to reintroduce it into the product life cycle as a raw material. But, what remains of detergents and cosmetics once they have been used? Apart from the packaging which has to be recovered – and over 80% of which is recycled (Fost Plus and Val-I-Pac) – they end up in nature and especially in water, where over time they decompose into water and carbon dioxide. This is known as biodegradation. So how can we close the circular economy loop? For our sectors, becoming part of the circular economy means using recyclable packaging but, above all, using raw materials from biomass that are readily biodegradable. Therefore, our sectors are looking for sources of renewable raw materials that can be managed sustainably. The Ellen MacArthur Foundation believes that the detergent and cosmetics sectors need to make better use of biomass as a source of raw materials. This is obvious – but not that easy.


In this context, creating new products and operating in a manner compatible with sustainable development, in particular via the circular economy, require the ability to make an informed choice and select raw materials whose origin and source are renewable and sustainably managed. Informed choice implies the need for traceability along the entire manufacturing chain, from the source to its by-product or mix of by-products. The key word is ‘traceability’. In order to be able to develop new products based on the efficient use of biomass, companies must be able to ‘trace’ the origin of raw materials. This is why DETIC has just created a ‘sustainable sourcing’ working group which brings together a number of enthusiastic companies whose aim is to promote the use of materials from biomass and improve traceability in the bio-sourced raw materials market. The choice between sustainably managed agricultural sources and biotechnologies that enable biological waste reclamation or the use of original sources (algae, etc.) will remain. Using biomass and biomaterials in line with sustainable development requires analysis and thought.





DETIC shines at Greener Packaging Awards

Chembo and Unilever top the podium


DETIC members feature strongly in the various Greener Packaging Award events organised by Fost Plus and Val-I-Pac, overseen by Fevia, Comeos and DETIC with the participation of Agoria and PMC-BMP. These awards are presented in recognition of companies that are making a special effort to reduce the environmental impact of their packaging.


Once again, the DETIC sectors stood out at the third event, as Unilever received the award for packaging weight reduction in the ‘large enterprises’ category, while Bevil (Chembo group) won the same prize in the ‘small and medium-sized enterprises’ category. Unfortunately, although L’Oréal and Laboratoires Expanscience were nominated in several categories, they but did not win any awards this time. It is worth noting that at the last event, Procter & Gamble, L’Oréal, Expanscience and Ecolab all won awards.

Finally, for the second time (Procter & Gamble won in 2013 with their concentrated detergent with automatic dosing device), a DETIC member won the overall award for all categories. Bevil (Chembo group) received the ‘Greener Packaging Award’ for its ‘MAGI PRO’ product, an ‘all-purpose’ cleaner in concentrated form which is prepared in a trigger spray bottle. A marvellous innovation that will arrive on the market in 2016.




DETIC signs the sustainable palm oil charter



On 15 December 2015, DETIC signed the charter of the Belgian Alliance for Sustainable Palm Oil. By so doing, we aim to encourage our members to use palm-oil derivatives from sustainable sources.

The Belgian Alliance for Sustainable Palm Oil is a cooperative initiative between various players in the palm-oil sector, working to promote the use of sustainable palm oil. DETIC is the first non-food player to sign the charter. ‘Sustainable palm oil’ means that the oil has been certified according to the RSPO (Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil) and it is traded in accordance with one of the RSPO trading systems or another equivalent system.

By signing the charter, DETIC aims to reduce the impact of palm oil on the environment. We promote sustainable palm-oil derivatives among our members and inform them about the use of these products. As a federation, DETIC undertakes to increase awareness among its members, inform them and motivate them to support the alliance in attaining its goals and widening its scope.


In particular, we focus our attention on the traceability of palm-oil derivatives. We promote the introduction of procedures in which palm-oil derivatives are chosen which have sustainability characteristics tha comply with the Belgian Alliance’s definition.

As a follow-up, we want to find out whether or not our members have a procedure for checking that their suppliers offer sustainable palm-oil derivatives. By reassessing this every year we can encourage everyone to implement such a procedure.

By signing the charter, DETIC aims to reduce the impact of palm oil on the environment. We promote sustainable palm-oil derivatives among our members and inform them about the use of these products. As a federation, DETIC undertakes to increase awareness among its members, inform them and motivate them to support the alliance in attaining its goals and widening its scope.  






I prefer 30° – promoting the second campaign 

In September 2016, we started another ‘I prefer 30°’ campaign to promote washing at 30 degrees. This campaign was a success for DETIC in 2014, as shown by the figures in the internal report. We reached about 2.5 million people and gathered over 3,500 fans on social media.

Now it is time for a relaunch. So we put our heads together again with a communications agency and discussed a new strategy. As before, the aim is to attract the public by means of street events (possibly working with retailers in the main shopping streets) and pushing it on social media. This time, our focus will be digital, because in this way the message can be spread more quickly and reach more people.


Why have we chosen 30°?

The goal is to lower the average washing temperature in Belgium by 3[CBA1] °. At the moment, the average temperature is still around 41°, so we are recommending that everyone washes less-soiled clothing which, in principle, simply needs freshening up, at 30° rather than 40°. This puts less strain on the environment and means your clothes will last longer. In fact, washing at low temperatures is not only good for the environment, but you will notice the difference in your wallet, too!

So, how does it work? Washing clothes at 60° uses 1.3kWh, while washing at 40° uses around 0.7kWh. At 30°, consumption falls to 0.4kWh. By reducing the average temperature by 3°, we can save 1,300 GWH of power, which is equal to the annual consumption of a city like Brussels!

So once again our task is to convince people that washing machines and detergents have evolved very significantly and washing at low temperatures can also yield a positive result now. Washing the way our grandmothers did – at a high temperature to make sure that everything is clean – is no longer necessary today.

Of course, ambassadors for ‘I prefer 30°’ are always welcome. So if you or your company would like to support us in this good cause, take a look at and contact DETIC.

Keep an eye on our Facebook campaign, too:




New advertising code for the cosmetics sector 



DETIC has drawn up a new advertising and marketing communication code for cosmetics products. The structure of the new advertising code has been altered. First, it includes ‘general principles’. This exhaustive chapter covers the guidelines laid down in the Cosmetics Europe Charter on responsible advertising and marketing communication.

Secondly, the code sets out provisions specific to Belgium (and the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg) that take into account best practices and social sensitivities. A number of provisions have been revised, such as the use of statistics, for instance; others have been added, particularly as regards sunbeds. Finally, the code has been devised so that it can be adopted by the Luxembourg advertising council. To this end, it refers to the Advertising Code of Ethics drawn up by the Advertising Council of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg.

The code was approved on 9 December 2015 by the Board of Directors of the JEP – Advertising Ethics Jury. It is available at


This code, drawn up to serve as guidelines, has applied to DETIC members since December 2015. It is a valuable tool which enables the sector to draft ethical claims that comply with the regulations and social conventions. It will also be shared with the CLEP (Commission for Ethics in Advertising) and the CLP (Luxembourg Advertising Council) during 2016.






ConstruBook: a digital manual for the construction sector


DETIC has already prepared a manual for the use of construction kits on construction sites. Now we are going a step further by creating an online library and a digital manual with instructions on certain actions and techniques in the construction sector.

 Digital learning is the future 

The digital manual, entitled ConstruBook, is a tailored, interactive learning tool for students, teachers, employers and employees. As today’s generation is increasingly using digital channels to look for information, we have devised a new communication method to teach them new techniques.

Initially, the manual was intended for teachers in the construction sector and their pupils. However, various companies in this sector gradually began to show an interest in using ConstruBook in the workplace, too.


How does it work?

To consult the information in ConstruBook, simply log in via the website:

On this website you will find an online library classified by topic. For each topic, there are extracts from the FVB-FFC Constructiv training fund manuals, tools and teaching packs for schools, videos with tutorials and much more. You can also access the training material yourself by uploading it via the website. You will find manuals for practical use under the ConstruBook tab.

Pierre-Paul Yerlès, educational adviser at the FVB-FFC construction sector training fund, briefly explains why they have developed it further: ‘We support teaching and further training courses for workers in the construction sector, and improving active employees is a priority for the sector. In this way, we can guarantee the quality of the work done and the development of new skills.’

Thus, the ConstruBook can be used in both the classroom and workplace – in this case, the building site. The website can be accessed via a laptop, tablet or mobile phone, making it more practical for use on a building site.

DETIC is very enthusiastic about the new digital developments and, together with input from professionals in the sector, hopes to be able to develop these tools further. In order to guarantee good quality and hence safety and sustainability, good teaching material, knowledge and further training are, of course, essential.




The invited article 

Well-known Scientists Ready to Stem the Onslaught of Pseudoscience in the EU 


BRUSSELS, 11 may, 2016 /PRNewswire/


Authors: Concerned Toxicologists for Better Science and Regulation

Source: University of Konstanz 


From the left: Prof. Richard Sharpe (back), Prof. Helmut Greim (middle), Prof. Sir Colin Berry (front), Prof. Pat Heslop-Harrison (back), Dr. Vytenis Andriukaitis, Commissioner of Health & Food Safety (middle), Prof. Daniel Dietrich (front), Prof. Wolfgang Dekant (back), and Prof. Alan Boobis (front)

A meeting was held between Dr. Vytenis Andriukaitis, Commissioner of Health & Food Safety and well established and respected scientists (Prof. Sir Colin Berry, Prof. Alan Boobis, Prof. Wolfgang Dekant, Prof. Daniel Dietrich, Prof. Helmut Greim, Prof. Pat Heslop-Harrison and Prof. Richard Sharpe) in the fields of human risk assessment and endocrine active compounds ("endocrine disrupting chemicals" or EDCs). Amongst the topics discussed by the group was how the presentation of the issue of EDCs to the public and to the Commission by some scientists has been deliberately selective and has proposed courses of action that: (1) are not supported by a robust scientific evidence base, and (2) run counter to the huge database and detailed understanding of the therapeutic effects of (endocrine active) hormones in human patients. The group emphasized that management of EDCs should be based on robust scientific evidence, as is common to all legal procedures (e.g. criminal law).

In discussion, the concern was raised that public perceptions about EDCs are currently dominated by certain scientists, NGOs and well-funded pressure groups, who categorically assert that EDCs contribute to human cancer, reproductive disorders, obesity and type 2 diabetes. The reality is that there is no robust, consistent scientific evidence to support such a dogmatic stance, and indeed most of the robust evidence points in the opposite direction. The group highlighted that the current level of knowledge about EDC and hormone action is such that it allows scientists and the regulatory bodies to identify compounds with potential endocrine activity and to address their potential to cause harm to humans or to the environment via well-established processes.

Pressure groups have advocated that EDCs should be treated as a "special case" when considering their potential to do harm, on the basis that EDCs (and hormones in general) can have unexpected effects at low level exposures and that they do not have thresholds of effect, with the result that their exposure-response curves are non-monotonic. The reality is that these assumptions are not supported by robust (i.e. reproducible) scientific data and are unlikely to occur in humans, because there is extensive knowledge on the human effects of endocrine active substances from the speciality of clinical endocrinology. Endocrine disorders, extending from diabetes through Graves disease to osteoporosis, that result from hormone levels that are too high or too low are managed by treatment with endocrine-active compounds, which has built a huge level of understanding of the relationships between levels of exposure and resulting health effects in humans. For all of these hormone-mediated functions in humans, thresholds are observed, there are no non-monotonic exposure response curves and no 'unexpected' effects at low-level exposures.

In the recent consensus document regarding EDCs developed at the BfR in Berlin (April 12-13, 2016; see it was emphasized that identification of EDCs is only the first step in the risk assessment of EDCs, but that potency and consideration of likely human exposure are necessary for any adequate evaluation of the human or environmental effects of EDCs. As EDCs comprise both natural and synthetic (i.e. manufactured) compounds, sugar in our foods which, when ingested will immediately trigger the release of the hormone insulin, will, if the opinion of some observers is consistently applied, have to be identified as an EDC and be subject to potential regulation. The natural component of sweet mustard (bisphenol F), that has nearly identical endocrine mediated activities as the bisphenol A that was banned from certain uses in France and Germany, would also have to be subject to restriction as would the many estrogenic chemicals present in many plants and vegetables (and presumably thus the plants themselves). This would clearly be nonsensical.

In view of the conclusions reported in the thoughtful consensus document ( and the importance of potency and human exposures in assessing the effects of EDCs, the scientists who met Commissioner Andriukaitis are confident that the current regulatory criteria for all potential EDCs can be developed by the Commission with the input of experienced toxicologists, endocrinologists and risk assessment professionals to enable the safe use of many compounds in a range of applications. In so doing, this will be achieved in a manner that ensures protection of human health and the environment, whilst maintaining the sustainability and competitiveness of the European economy.



Prof. Daniel Dietrich, +49-7531-883518,, Universiteit van Konstanz, Duitsland
Prof. Helmut Greim, +49-8161-715600,, TU München, Duitsland
Prof. Alan Boobis, +44-(0)20-7594-6806,, Imperial College Londen, Groot-Brittannië
Prof. Richard Sharp, +44-(0)131-242-6387,, Universiteit van Edinburgh, Groot-Brittannië




In short


Workshop ‘Hazardous products’ workshop is a great success

DETIC organised a workshop on the ‘hazardous products’ legislation together with GS1 Belux and Comeos. The aim was to provide clarification on the somewhat confusing CLP-REACH legislation. The workshop also focused on communication between suppliers and distributors when it emerged that retailers prefer a universal ‘cross-sector’ system in order to keep administration to a minimum.


Be an ambassador for ‘I prefer 30’

No more misunderstandings! Today, washing your laundry at a low temperature proves quite effective in the majority of cases. Moreover, it is good for your clothes, the environment and your wallet. This is the message DETIC and its partners want to spread on the occasion of the relaunch of the ‘I prefer 30’ campaign. If you would like to take part in this campaign by being an ambassador for ‘I prefer 30’ then please contact DETIC.


Workshop on the correct use of detergents and cleaning products

The complex CLP regulation [CBA1] is creating communication problems with the consumer. The difference between "real" caustics and other products is almost non-existent. This is adding to the problems with labelling and to the fact that the average consumer really must understand what these labels mean. So, the question is: How do you write a suitable label exlaining the correct use of a product? What do consumers look at first on a label? What information does the consumer want? What do medical staff want to see on a label? Answers to all these questions will be given at the ‘How to communicate effectively with consumers?’ workshop organised by the A.I.S.E[CBA2] . on 10 June. Results of a study on consumer perception will also be presented during the event.

Find out more at or contact DETIC.



Responsible publisher: Frédérick Warzée -