Generic environmental claims and other misleading marketing tricks will be banned following a deal struck Tuesday by EU legislators on the directive ‘Empowering Consumers for the Green Transition’. 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.

Negotiators from Parliament and Council agreed to ban the following:

  • generic environmental claims, e.g. “environmentally friendly”, “natural”, “biodegradable”, “climate neutral” or “eco”, without proof of recognised excellent environmental performance relevant to the claim;
  • commercial communications about a good with a feature that limits its durability if information is available on the feature and its effects on the durability;
  • 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;
  • durability claims in terms of usage time or intensity under normal conditions, if not proven;
  • prompting the consumer to replace consumables, such as printer ink cartridges, earlier than strictly necessary;
  • presenting software updates as necessary even if they only enhance functionality features;
  • presenting goods as repairable when they are not.

MEPs successfully insisted on making guarantee information more visible, as many people are not aware that all goods enjoy at least a two-year guarantee in the EU. The Commission is also tasked with designing a new label for producers willing to highlight the quality of their goods by extending the guarantee period free of charge

Source: EUbusiness

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