Plastics Environmental Council’s Response To The Recently Revised FTC Green Guides
The Plastics Environmental Council is pleased with the contents of the FTC Green Guidelines. The new guidelines prohibit any deceptive claims and allow for properly qualified claims of biodegradability in landfills.
Oct. 5, 2012 - PRLog -- Atlanta, GA -- On October 01, 2012, the FTC issued its long-awaited Green Guides. On balance, the Plastics Environmental Council (www.pec-us.org) is pleased with the contents of the new release as they pertain to degradable plastics (Section 260.8 of the new Guides). While the new guidelines still prohibit any deceptive, unqualified claims of biodegradability of materials, including plastics, in landfills, properly qualified claims of biodegradability are permitted. “Degradable claims should be qualified clearly and prominently to the extent necessary to avoid deception about: (1) the product’s or package’s ability to degrade in the environment where it is customarily disposed; and (2) the rate and extent of degradation,”
“This is an important distinction,”
The FTC states that it is deceptive to make an unqualified degradable claim for items entering the solid waste stream if the items do not completely decompose within one year after customary disposal, which includes landfills. The FTC defines one year as a reasonably short period of time. “This is unfortunate,”
To the best of our knowledge, the definition of one year as a reasonably short period of time for biodegradation has its roots in a 2006 survey of 1000 consumers who expressed one year as the time they believed it took for any biodegradable material to degrade in a landfill. “However,”