European Parliament Approves Draft Law to Empower Consumers and Promote Sustainable Products

European Parliament Approves Draft Law to Empower Consumers and Promote Sustainable Products

(IN BRIEF) MEPs approve draft legislation to improve product labelling and durability, and combat misleading claims. The proposal aims to empower consumers in making environmentally friendly choices and encourage companies to offer more sustainable products. The legislation includes banning misleading environmental claims, simplifying product information through official certification schemes, and fighting against early obsolescence by prohibiting design features that limit product lifespan. Additionally, buyers would be informed of repair restrictions, and a new guarantee label would highlight both legally required and additional guarantee periods. The approval of this legislation signals a significant move toward enhancing consumer empowerment and promoting sustainability.

(PRESS RELEASE) BRUSSELS, 11-May-2023 — /EuropaWire/ — The European Parliament, the EU’s only directly-elected institution and one of the legislative bodies of the European Union, announces that on Thursday, Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) showed their support for draft legislation aimed at improving product labelling, durability, and combating misleading claims. With an overwhelming majority of 544 votes in favor, 18 against, and 17 abstentions, the plenary approved the proposal for a new directive focused on empowering consumers for the green transition. The primary objective is to assist consumers in making environmentally friendly choices and encourage companies to provide more durable and sustainable products.

Ban on Misleading Ads and Generic Environmental Claims

The approved negotiating mandate of the Parliament calls for a ban on general environmental claims, such as “environmentally friendly,” “natural,” “biodegradable,” “climate neutral,” or “eco,” if not substantiated by detailed evidence. Environmental claims based solely on carbon offsetting schemes would also be prohibited. Additionally, misleading practices, such as making claims about the entire product when the claim applies only to a part of it, or falsely stating the product’s lifespan or intensity of use, would be forbidden.

Simplified Product Information and Fight Against Early Obsolescence

MEPs propose allowing only sustainability labels based on official certification schemes or established by public authorities. This simplification aims to provide clearer product information to consumers. To promote longer product lifespans, the Parliament seeks to ban design features that intentionally limit a product’s life or lead to premature malfunction. Producers would not be permitted to restrict a product’s functionality when used with consumables, spare parts, or accessories from other companies.

Informing Consumers and Guarantee Label

Buyers would be informed of any repair restrictions before purchasing a product to help them make informed decisions about lasting and repairable goods. MEPs also propose the introduction of a new guarantee label that not only indicates the legally required guarantee period but also highlights any additional guarantee extensions offered by producers. This label would serve to emphasize the quality and durability of goods while motivating companies to prioritize longevity.

The backing of this legislation by MEPs represents a significant step toward empowering consumers, promoting sustainability, and curbing misleading practices in product marketing.


After the vote, rapporteur Biljana Borzan (S&D, HR) said: “The industry will no longer profit from making consumer goods that break just as the guarantee period is over. Consumers will have to be provided with information about the options and cost of repairs in a clear manner. Product labels will inform citizens which goods are guaranteed to last longer and producers whose goods are more durable will profit. The jungle of false environmental claims will end as only certified and substantiated ecological claims will be permitted.”

Next steps

The Council of the EU adopted its own negotiating mandate on 3 May. That means negotiations between the Parliament and the member states on the final content and wording of the directive can start soon.


The proposed directive is part of the first circular economy package, along with the ecodesign regulationconstruction products regulation and an own-initiative report on the EU strategy for sustainable and circular textiles. It paves the way for a new green claims directive that will further specify the conditions for making environmental claims in the future.

In adopting this legislation, Parliament is responding to citizens’ expectations regarding sustainable consumption, packaging and production as well as sustainable growth and innovation as expressed in Proposals 5 (1), (7) and (10) and 11 (2) of the conclusions of the Conference on the Future of Europe.

Media contact:

Press Officer
(+32) 2 28 43512 (BXL)
(+32) 477 99 06 65
Twitter: @EP_SingleMarket

SOURCE: European Parliament


Follow EuropaWire on Google News

Comments are closed.