Affecting UK and EU businesses, the subject of greenwashing is nearing legislative prohibition: the European Parliament has recently implemented regulations pertaining to the misrepresentation of products as sustainable. Such misrepresentation is deemed to be false and misleading, and therefore, subject to legal action.
Fundamentally, the use of unsubstantiated environmental assertions and the practise of planned obsolescence shall be deemed impermissible.
The European Parliament has passed regulations aimed at enhancing product labelling and durability, and prohibiting deceptive assertions. The plenary has granted its approval to the negotiating position on a fresh proposal for a directive concerning consumer empowerment for the green transition, with 544 votes in favour, 18 against, and 17 abstentions. The primary aim is to assist consumers in making ecologically sound decisions and to motivate corporations to provide them with more long-lasting and sustainable commodities.
The negotiating mandate, as approved by Parliament, intends to prohibit the utilisation of generic environmental assertions, such as ‘environmentally friendly’, ‘natural’, ‘biodegradable’, ‘climate neutral’, or ‘ecological’, in the absence of accompanying comprehensive substantiation. The objective of the aforementioned is to prohibit assertions pertaining to the environment that are exclusively founded on carbon offsetting schemes.
It shall be prohibited to engage in deceptive practises, including but not limited to asserting claims about the entirety of a product if said claims are only verifiable for a portion thereof, or representing that a product possesses a certain durability or capacity for use under specific conditions if such representations are not factually accurate. True. In order to streamline the dissemination of product information, Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) intend to grant authorization solely to sustainability labels that are grounded in official certification schemes or that have been established by public authorities.
The European Parliament seeks to prohibit the incorporation of design characteristics that curtail the lifespan of products or lead to their untimely malfunction, with the aim of enhancing their longevity. It is imperative that manufacturers refrain from restricting the operational capabilities of a given product in instances where it is utilised in conjunction with consumables, replacement parts, or accessories produced by entities other than the manufacturer itself.
It is imperative that prospective buyers are duly informed of any repair restrictions prior to making a purchase, in order to facilitate their selection of more enduring and serviceable products. The Members of the European Parliament are putting forth a proposition for a novel guarantee stamp that would not only denote the duration of coverage mandated by legal provisions, but also the duration of any warranty extensions provided by manufacturers. The purpose of this communication is to emphasise the importance of superior merchandise and encourage corporations to prioritise longevity.
On the 3rd of May, the European Union Council duly adopted its negotiating mandate. This implies that the commencement of negotiations between Parliament and the Member States regarding the substance and ultimate phrasing of the directive is imminent.