Eco labels 'mislead consumers'

The UK is failing to deal with greenwash – the practice of making products sound more environmentally friendly than they really are. The problem arose because government guidelines to ensure "clear, accurate, relevant and verifiable" environmental claims were "non-binding". Ministers last year rejected MPs' calls for "direct intervention" to remove inaccurate and misleading claims. Instead they preferred to rely on eco-labelling schemes sponsored by industry or non-governmental groups.

Transparency International's report says the Advertising Standards Authority has tried to stamp out the worst excesses through tough rulings on clearly bogus claims, but that subtler wording is being deployed.

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