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Entries tagged “Greenwashing”

CA AG Gets Aggro Over False Claims of Bottle Biodegradability

Insight November 01, 2011

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The good folks at the Huffington Post last week reported that California Attorney General (AG), Kamala Harris, filed a lawsuit on October 26, 2011 against ENSO PlasticsBalance Water and Aquamantra for making the alleged greenwashing claims that their bottles are “100 percent biodegradable and recyclable.  “Such claims violate California law, specifically California AB 1972, which prohibits the sale of plastic bags, and plastic food and beverage containers that are labeled as “biodegradable,” “degradable,” “decomposable.”  AB 1972 was signed into law on September 27, 2008 by then-California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and became effective on January 1, 2009.  Recently, California Governor Jerry Brown signed California Senate Bill 567 into law, which expands AB 1972 to banning the terms “biodegradable,” “degradable,” “decomposable” from use on all plastic products sold in California starting in 2013 (manufacturers take note!).  Additionally, CA Business and Professions Code Section 17580.5 makes it unlawful to violate the FTC Green Guides, about which I wrote herehereherehereherehere, and here (yeah, I’m kinda passionate about responsible business and responsible marketing; can you tell?).

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Watch out greenwashers; here comes the FTC

Insight August 23, 2010

The Federal Trade Commission ("FTC") was created in 1914 to regulate unfair trade practices. It issued its first set of Guides for the Use of Environmental Marketing Claims (commonly known as the Green Guides) under in 1992, which it then updated in 1996 and 1998. The Green Guides are meant to provide guidance to marketers so they can avoid making unfair and/or deceptive environmental advertising claims. Imagine that! Technically, the Green Guides informally interpret Section 5 of the FTC Act (15 U.S.C. §§ 41-58) ("The Act"), which governs unfair and/or deceptive advertising claims, including claims about environmental benefits and practices. Essentially, the Guides are a play book for how to stay out of trouble with the FTC.

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