FTC Proposes Revisions to Green Guides

27 Oct 2010

I blogged previously about “Greenwashing” – the practice of businesses exaggerating their environmental benefits.  As I noted then, the FTC is the primary agency to regulate such claims.  The FTC recently announced a number of proposed changes to its “Green Guides” which delineate acceptable and legal practices from those which are barred under Federal law.  FTC will accept comments on the proposed revisions until December 10, 2010.

You can find the changes at the FTC Website, but in brief, the proposal tightens up the rules by such things as: (1) barring unqualified (i.e., “green” or “eco-friendly”) claims; (2) requiring greater clarity regard green “certifications;” (3) defining “degradable” to mean degrades within a year; (4) defining a three-tiered definition for “recyclable” claims; and for the first time (5) addressing claims regarding items being made with renewable materials or energy and requiring documentation regarding carbon offset claims.

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