The European Parliament has a new set of ideas on the table, which you may soon notice. For example, more should be possible in the field of repairs of your smartphone, for example, but it should also be done with the misleading battery results.
EU against deception
The European Parliament has approved legislation to improve product labeling and sustainability and tackle misleading claims. With a majority of 544 votes in favour, 18 against and 17 abstentions, the plenary adopted the proposal for a new directive. The main purpose of this directive is to help consumers make environmentally friendly choices and to encourage companies to offer more sustainable products.
One of the most important aspects of the legislation passed is the ban on misleading advertising and generic environmental claims. The use of terms such as “environmentally friendly”, “natural”, “biodegradable”, “climate neutral” or “eco” without detailed evidence will no longer be allowed. Claims based solely on carbon offsetting will also be banned. In addition, other misleading practices, such as claims about a product that are only partially true or false claims about a product’s longevity or level of use, will no longer be allowed.
To simplify product information, MEPs propose only allowing sustainability labels based on official certification programs or those set up by government agencies. In this way it is ensured that consumers receive reliable information about the sustainability of products and that false claims come to an end.
Another important aspect of the legislation is the fight against premature ageing. The European Parliament wants to ensure that products last longer by prohibiting certain design choices that limit the lifespan or cause products to fail quickly. In addition, manufacturers must not limit the functionality of a product when used with consumables, spare parts or accessories made by other companies. This will enable consumers to use and repair products for longer, resulting in less waste.
To help consumers make sustainable choices, buyers will be advised of any repair restrictions before making a purchase. In addition, a new warranty label is proposed that indicates not only the length of the legally required warranty, but also the length of any warranty extensions offered by manufacturers. This will help consumers identify quality products and encourage producers to pay more attention to sustainability.
Rapporteur Biljana Borzan gives the following response;
“The industry will no longer benefit from making consumer goods that break when the warranty period is over. Consumers will have to be clearly informed about the possibilities and costs of repairs. Product labels will inform citizens which goods are guaranteed to last longer and producers of goods that are more sustainable will benefit. The jungle of false environmental claims will come to an end, as only certified and substantiated ecological claims will be allowed.”