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Tuesday, September 26, 2023European Commission

Environmental claims: agreement between the European Parliament and the Council

Allégations environnementales : accord entre le Parlement européen et le Conseil

The Parliament and the Council have reached a provisional agreement on the new rules proposed by the European Commission, which would amend the Unfair Commercial Practices Directive and the Consumer Rights Directive. The aim is to give consumers the means to act in favour of the ecological transition, notably by banning greenwashing in advertising and claims.

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The agreement updates the existing EU list of banned commercial practices and adds to it several problematic marketing habits related to greenwashing and early obsolescence of goods. The aim of the new rules is to protect consumers from misleading practices and help them make better purchasing choices.

The two European bodies have agreed to ban in particular: • Generic environmental claims, e.g. “environmentally friendly”, “natural”, “biodegradable”, “climate neutral” or “eco”, without proof of recognised excellent environmental performance relevant to the claim
• Claims based on emissions offsetting schemes that a product has neutral, reduced or positive impact on the environment
• Sustainability labels not based on approved certification schemes or established by public authorities…

In order to become law, the provisional deal will now have to get the final OK from both the Parliament and the Council. The vote by MEPs is expected to take place in November. When the directive comes into force, member states will have 24 months to incorporate the new rules into their law.

EU to ban greenwashing and improve consumer information on product durability, European Parliament press release, 20 September 2023

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