Bio-based products and the risk of green washing

ECOS has long been advocating for bio-based products to have a verifiable physical bio-based content, sufficient to claim that the product is largely derived from biomass, and therefore truly promote the sustainable use of renewable sources in our circular economy.

We have been involved in the standardisation developments in the area of bio-based products which were triggered by a European Commission Mandate (M/492) aimed to support the EU ‘Lead Market Initiative’.

In this context, we strongly oppose the recent proposal by standardisers to include non bio-based products in the scope and work of CEN/TC 411 ‘Bio-based products’. Addressing both types of products simultaneously represents a threat to achievements made so far and a risk of green washing.

ECOS’ main concerns regarding addressing bio-based products with and without a physical bio-based content simultaneously changing the scope of CEN/TC 411 are:

  • The risk of green washing and consumer misguidance
  • The risk of unfair competition
  • The lack of verification methods for products without a physical bio-based content (type III products)
  • The recyclability of biomass feedstock is no longer possible

Our full position on standardisation developments on bio-based products and the risk of green washing can be read here