Interview: Red card to greenwashing and early obsolescence

Just because the label says it’s green, it doesn’t mean that it is.

In Europe, steps are being taken to reduce the untraceable claims made on product labels. The European Parliament has approved a stronger EU law that safeguards consumers from deceptive environmental claims and early obsolescence.

The Directive on Empowering Consumers for the Green Transition intends to restrict deceiving business practices that hinder consumers’ sustainable choices and ultimately a transition to a circular economy. It aims to support more reliable sustainability labels and combat climate-washing, early obsolescence and barriers to repair. The Parliament voted to ban claims that products have a neutral, reduced, compensated, or positive greenhouse gas emission impact on the environment based solely on carbon offsetting.
Miriam Thiemann works at the EEB as EU Ecolabel and Sustainable Consumption Campaigner – We spoke to her about how these directives might work in practice and what challenges are likely to slow the process of introducing a transparent labelling system for what we buy.

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