2.5.3. The Directive and misleading environmental claims

The Directive does not provide for specific rules in relation to environmental marketing and advertising. However, its provisions apply to all claims made in the context of business-to-consumer commercial practices, including those related to the environment.

As stated in Recital 10 of the Directive, it indeed "provides protection for consumers where there is no specific sectoral legislation at Community level and prohibits traders from creating a false impression of the nature of products".

The Directive does not discourage the use of green claims and provides a legal basis to make sure that traders use green claims in a credible and responsible manner. The application of the provisions of the Directive to environmental claims can be summarised in two main principles:

(a) Based on the Directive's general clause, traders must, above all, present their green claims in a specific, accurate and unambiguous manner;

(b) Traders must have scientific evidence to support their claims and be ready to provide it in an understandable way in the case that the claim is challenged.

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