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Brussels sets minimum and verifiable requirements to end the “green bleaching” of some products

“T-shirt made from recycled bottles”, “CO2 offset supply”, “packaging made from 30% recycled plastic”, “sunscreen suitable for the ocean”… all the environmental claims that consumers find in products, they sound very good, but the European Commission wants to create Conditions that guarantee their authenticity. That is why the Community government has put forward a directive that specifies certain minimum requirements for companies making these types of claims about the “green” properties of their products. In short, fight what is called “greenwashing”.

A 2020 study by the European Commission found that 53.3% of these types of green ads were vague, misleading or unfounded, and 40% were unsubstantiated. For this reason, after the approval of the new rules, 27 must ensure through independent verification bodies that “green” requirements are met, such as scientific support or identification of environmental impacts and their compensation.

The Brussels proposal provides an exemption for small companies (those with fewer than ten employees and a turnover of two million) and avoids a “disproportionate impact”. The intention, yes, is that it applies to European companies, but also to those outside the EU who intend to make environmental claims on the sale of their products.

The right to repair the product up to 10 years after purchase

The EU government has also made a proposal to try to limit the five million tonnes of waste that the EU generates every year. The initiative aims to increase repairs of technical appliances (such as vacuum cleaners, phones, tablets, washing machines, dryers, dishwashers, etc.) to the detriment of the existing replacement policy.

Thus, the “right to repair” is generally included on products covered by warranty. During this period, sellers will have a legal obligation to offer a repair, unless it is more expensive than a replacement.

After the warranty period expires, the European Commission indicates that manufacturers will be obliged to repair the products within ten years of purchase (depending on the type, the fork may be less), if repair is technically impossible. What the proposal does not specify is the price range, although sources in the community believe that renovations will be attractive due to the law of supply and demand.

Brussels claims that there will be a number of tools to make repairs easier and more accessible, such as the creation of an online platform to connect consumers and repairers, as well as sellers of refurbished goods. “The platform will enable searches based on location and quality standards, making it easier for users to find attractive offers and increasing visibility for repairers,” the commission said in a statement.

This is the first step of these proposals of the European Commission, which must now be analyzed by the Council of the European Union and the European Parliament for final approval before the tripartite negotiations.

Source: El Diario

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