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European Parliament agrees on “greenwashing” directive

In the Industry | January 29, 2024 | By:

The European Parliament has agreed on a directive that aims to improve product labeling and ban the use of misleading environmental claims (“greenwashing”) to help consumers make better purchasing choices. As reported in, the new rules aim to make product labeling clearer and more trustworthy by banning the use of general environmental claims such as “environmentally friendly”, “natural”, “biodegradable”, “climate neutral” or “eco” without proof.

The use of sustainability labels will also now be regulated. In the future, only sustainability labels based on official certification schemes or established by public authorities will be allowed in the EU. Additionally, the directive will ban claims that a product has a neutral, reduced or positive impact on the environment because of emissions offsetting schemes.

Another objective is making producers and consumers focus more on the durability of goods. Guarantees will have to be more visible and a new, harmonized label will be created to give more prominence to goods with an extended guarantee period. The new rules will also ban unfounded durability claims, prompts to replace consumables earlier than strictly necessary and presenting goods as repairable when they are not.

MEP Biljana Borzan said: “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.”

The directive needs to receive final approval from the Council, after which it will be published in the Official Journal and member states will have 24 months to transpose it into national law.

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