The European Eco-label award scheme is a voluntary scheme which allows manufacturers whose products meet the criteria laid down to display the Eco-label to demonstrate to prospective customers the high environmental standards of their product. In recent weeks, the number of products awarded the Eco-label has passed the 160 mark, with some 166 separate products now covered. The scheme was launched in 1992 following the adoption of a Council Regulation. Because separate criteria have to be established for each product type, the scheme has been slow to take off. However, in recent months many awards have been made, and the numbers are likely to increase substantially in the next few months. In the past few months major achievements include the first award to an importer, the first award for a laundry detergent, and the endorsement of the scheme by a French distributor which now requires suppliers to meet ecological criteria for bed linen. Other recent awards cover products such as indoor paint, cotton T-shirts, and washing machines. The first award for a refrigerator is likely to be made soon. In total, up till now, 38 "licences" for the use of the flower logo have been granted to 20 manufacturers and one importer for 166 products. The geographical coverage of the Eco-label awards is also wide, with successful applicants from throughout the EU.