EP adopts new law banning greenwashing & misleading information

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Improved labelling to protect from misleading marketing practices

The European Parliament has given its final green light to a directive that will improve product labelling and ban the use of misleading environmental claims. The adopted directive seeks to protect consumers from misleading marketing practices and help them make better purchasing choices.

The new rules aim among other things:

  • To make product labelling clearer and more trustworthy by banning the use of general environmental claims like “environmentally friendly”, “natural”, “biodegradable”, “climate neutral” or “eco” without proof.
  • Only sustainability labels based on official certification schemes or established by public authorities will be allowed in the EU.
  • The directive will ban claims that a product has a neutral, reduced or positive impact on the environment because of emissions offsetting schemes.
  • To improve the durability of goods, guarantee information has to be more visible and a new, harmonised label will be created to give more prominence to goods with an extended guarantee period.

Parliament’s rapporteur Biljana Borzan (S&D, HR) said: “This law will change the everyday lives of all Europeans! We will step away from throwaway culture, make marketing more transparent and fight premature obsolescence of goods. People will be able to choose products that are more durable, repairable and sustainable thanks to reliable labels and advertisements. Most importantly, companies can no longer trick people by saying that plastic bottles are good because the company planted trees somewhere – or say that something is sustainable without explaining how. This is a big win for all of us!”

=>Read the full EP Press Release