The European Parliament overwhelmingly adopted a new law which bans misleading product information and labeling, also known as ‘greenwashing’ in an effort to protect consumers from marketing.

In detail, terms like “environmentally friendly”, “biodegradable”, and “climate neutral” can’t be used in advertising or packaging without concrete evidence.

When the rules become effective in member states, products will have to bear a certification that has been awarded by official certification or governmental certification schemes to claim they are sustainable.

The law also means that CO2 emissions offsetting schemes can’t be used to support claims that products are climate neutral, or that they have a reduced impact or positive impact.

The law also covers a host of issues related to durability of products. For example, products cannot make claims about durability in terms of usage time or intensity if they cannot be proven.

Also, consumers cannot be prompted to replace consumables earlier than necessary nor to make software updates that are not necessary.

The law now has to be approved by the Council and, once passed, member states will have 24 months to implement it.