GREENWASHING – The Directive was adopted by EU Parliament

14. 2. 2024

The Directive, which aims to protect consumers from false information and misleading marketing of products, was adopted by the EU Parliament on 17 January 2024.

According to Directive the advertising should be more reliable and accurate, and it introduces a ban on the use of environmental claims such as ‘biodegradable, natural, environmentally friendly, eco-friendly or climate-neutral’ without proof.

The use of sustainability labels will also be regulated as their ever-increasing number is causing confusion. The Directive also prohibits claims that a product has a neutral, lower or positive impact on the environment. In future, only sustainability labels that are based on official certification schemes or are established by public authorities will be allowed.

Irrelevant durability claims (e.g. that a washing machine will last 5,000 wash cycles), calls to replace consumables sooner than necessary and labelling goods as repairable when in fact they are not, will be also prohibited.

Consumers will be able to choose products that are more durable, repairable and sustainable thanks to reliable labels and advertising. Companies will no longer be able to lie by claiming that plastic bottles are good just because a company has planted trees – or to say that something is sustainable without showing how.

Next steps:

The Directive must also be approved by the Council and will be published in the Official Journal subsequently. Member States of EU will have 24 months to implement it into national law.