Released today, the survey shows that 77% of respondents will pay more if they are confident that products they purchase are ‘truly’ environmentally-friendly.

However, the survey also reveals that only slightly more than half of EU citizens feel informed about the environmental impacts of the products they buy and use.

Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik said: “Of course we all want to see more green products on shelves, but this survey shows that most of us are confused by green claims and don’t trust them.

“That’s not good for consumers, and it is not rewarding those companies that are really making an effort. We are working with companies and other stakeholders to develop the credible information consumers are looking for when they buy products. This will help develop markets and open up opportunities for innovation and investment in the green economy.”

A majority of EU citizens believe that buying environmentally-friendly products can make a difference to the environment (89%) and that they are as effective as regular products (74%).

Confidence that products labelled environmentally-friendly are less harmful to the environment is highest in Portugal (84%), Malta (82%), France (81%) and Belgium (81%).

However, confidence is significantly lower in Germany (44%), Romania (46%) and the Netherlands (47%).

Just over half of EU citizens generally trust producers’ claims about the environmental performance of their products (52%), but a majority of Europeans do not trust companies’ reports on their own environmental performance (54%).

Despite this, there is strong support for obliging companies to publish reports on their overall environmental performance and the environmental performance of their products (69%).

Conor McGlone

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