In 2018, 18.9 million tons of packaging waste was generated in Germany, of which approx. 47% originated from private households (source: Federal Environment Agency). Hence, not only for products but also for packaging, the topics of sustainability and environmental impact are more and more coming into focus for consumers.
Especially for product packaging, labels such as “100% recyclable”, “100% compostable” and the like have become more widely used recent years. In this context, it should be noted that “green” environmental promises become relevant under competition law, if sustainable disposal options remain theoretical solutions but are not actually implemented in practice, e g actual composting of packaging materials does not take place but is advertised on the packaging (as ruled by the Cologne Higher Regional Court, for example).
Consequently, this argumentation must also be applied to product take-back programs. Thus, the possibility of return options may only be advertised, if a return by the consumer is also practically possible.
This means that the issues of sustainability and compliance are inextricably linked and must be considered together, particularly in connection with environmental promises, as otherwise disadvantages may arise under competition law.
The NovaLoop team supports companies in successfully combining sustainability and compliance and is your contact partner for the implementation of sustainable environmental compliance requirements.