FTC Updates Green Marketing Guidelines

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) released on October 1 an updated version of its Green Guides, a guideline document that aims to hold companies to truthful standards in touting the environmental friendliness of their products.

The revised guidelines include changes to the proposed version the FTC circulated to industry organizations including IPC, companies, other government entities and individuals in October 2010.

Among the updates, the guides warn marketers not to make broad, unqualified claims that their products are environmentally friendly or eco-friendly.

The guides (not rules or regulations but general principles) also:

  • Advise companies not to make an unqualified degradable claim for a solid waste product unless they can prove that the entire product or package will completely break down and return to nature within a year after disposal.
  • Caution marketers not to make unqualified degradable claims for items destined for landfills, incinerators or recycling facilities that will not degrade within a year.
  • Clarify guidance on compostable, ozone, recyclable, recycled content and source reduction claims.
  • Outline how marketers can qualify their claims to avoid consumer deception.

For additional information on the Green Guides, the FTC has developed a fact sheet.

View comments that IPC submitted to the FTC regarding proposed changes to the guidelines.

One Comment

  1. Posted October 7, 2012 at 4:15 am | Permalink

    Very good post. I’m dealing with some of these issues as well..

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