The European Parliament and European Council have reached a provisional agreement on new rules to ban misleading marketing and provide clearer product information, according to a statement on the European Parliament website.

The agreement updated the existing EU list of banned commercial practices and added several new rules related to greenwashing and early obsolescence of goods, the 19 September report said.

“The aim of the new rules is to protect consumers from misleading practices and help them make better purchasing choices,” the statement said.

Before becoming law across the European Union (EU), the provisional deal would need to go to a final vote from both the Parliament and the Council in November, the statement said. Once the directive was introduced, member states would have 24 months to incorporate the new rules into law.

Following the agreement, generic environmental claims – such as “eco” and “bio-degradable” labels – and other misleading marketing strategies would be banned without proof of relevant recognised environmental performance.

Only sustainability labels based on approved certification schemes or established by public authorities would be allowed.

According to the agreement the ban would also apply to:

  • Claims based on emissions offsetting schemes that a product has neutral, reduced or positive impact on the environment.

Commenting on the agreement, MEP Biljana Borzan said: “We are clearing the chaos of environmental claims, which will now have to be substantiated, and claims based on emissions offsetting will be banned.”