EU bans “climate neutral” and “ecological” on packaging

The European Union is passing a law to prevent greenwashing labels on consumer goods

Climate neutral

Author: House of Eden

  • The European Union will pass a law from January 17th, 2024 to prevent greenwashing and ensure that consumers are not misled by vague environmental terms on packaging.
  • The law prohibits the use of unclearly defined terms such as "environmentally friendly" or "climate neutral" and is intended to create transparency and encourage companies to demonstrate sustainable practices.
  • This means consumers receive more reliable information about sustainable products, while recognized organic and eco-labels continue to serve as trustworthy guides for environmentally conscious shopping.

Especially when shopping in a supermarket, it is important to pay attention to sustainable labels and certifications. As an end consumer, you therefore choose companies that do not harm the environment or keep animals in precarious conditions. However, supposedly green labels can contain misleading information. To end this, the European Union is now issuing a law that is intended to ensure that consumers are not incorrectly informed about supposedly sustainable products.

Ban to prevent greenwashing

Although labels and certifications make purchasing easier, they are also the perfect opportunity for companies to practice so-called greenwashing. This means that companies adorn themselves with supposedly environmentally friendly actions that are not really environmentally friendly or are not even practiced. The reasons for this are the vaguely formulated requirements of some certificates. For example, there is no precise definition behind the word “climate neutral” and offers a lot of scope for interpretation. Companies that declare themselves to be climate-neutral often practice their manufacturing process in a conventional manner and then pay into compensation projects, which in turn are often unable to keep their promises. The result: Consumers buy a “climate-neutral” product in the supermarket, which in reality is not really climate-neutral.

Change with immediate effect

In order to avoid vague formulations with a lot of room for interpretation and the associated misinformation, from January 17th, 2024, all words such as environmentally friendly, ecological, green, natural, climate neutral or reduced CO2 will be banned on packaging unless there is evidence of this the fulfillment of these terms exists. Because all of these terms are very unclearly defined and can therefore mislead end consumers. The EU member states then have 2 years to fully implement this requirement.

Reliable information for consumers

By removing misleading words from packaging, environmentally friendly shopping in supermarkets becomes clearer. Important and renowned labels remain. So if you value truly sustainable products, you should always stick to organic and eco-labels that meet predefined standards.


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