A new directive banning greenwashing and misleading product information

Parliament has given its final green light to a directive that will improve product labelling and ban the use of misleading environmental claims.

More accurate and reliable advertising

Most importantly, the new rules aim 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.

The use of sustainability labels will also now be regulated, given the confusion caused by their proliferation and failure to use comparative data. 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.

Next steps

The directive now also 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.

The new directive is meant to work together with the green claims directive, currently being discussed at committee stage in Parliament. The upcoming green claims directive will be more specific and elaborate the conditions for using environmental claims in greater detail.

Source: European Parliament, 2024. Read the full article

January 2024