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EC aims to simplify ‘confusing’ green claims

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EC aims to simplify ‘confusing’ green claims

April 10
10:22 2013

The complexity and variety of ‘green’ initiatives for products in the EU has prompted a new initiative to create a single market for eco-claims, says the European Commission (EC).

The EC launched its ‘Single Market for Green Products’ initiative on April 9 in a bid to simplify the range of green initiatives in the EU that, it said, had started to act as a barrier for the circulation of green products.

The EC said that for a food company to register its product and organisation as ‘green’ – there were “a confusing range of choices of methods and initiatives”, often different in each EU state.

“There are numerous voices from industry calling for a harmonisation of methods to assess the environmental performance of products in order to create a level playing field, reduce costs, and prevent free riding,” it said.

Complex for consumers too…

It added that not only was the current system complex for food manufacturers, but also for consumers.

“At present, consumers have very poor information on what is genuinely ‘green’. Without providing this information in a trusted way, purchasing decisions are distorted and many consumers end up not buying green products despite their declared intention to do so… The number of green claims is growing, even if they are becoming more superficial and vague in their use of terminology, further deteriorating consumer trust.”

Findings from a recent Eurobarometer found that 48% of European consumers were confused and did not trust environmental information on products; affecting readiness to make green purchases, the EC said.

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