Sept 20 - Are You Against Greenwashing? So Are We, and the FTC

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The growth of the environmental movement has created some unintended side effects--companies hoping to cash in with deceptive practices and environmental claims, also known as greenwashing. According to this Waste & Recycling News article, "The number of "greener" products since 2009 has increased by 73%... with 95% of "greener" products committing…[greenwashing] "sins."

Earlier this year the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) sued a company for its false green certification labeling practices. The company, Tested Green, sold its certifications to over 100 customers and claimed that the certifications were endorsed by two independent companies. Upon closer inspection, the FTC found that the owner of Tested Green also owned the two "independent" companies, and that Tested Green had never tested any of its customers before certifying them.

The FTC has also recently updated its Green Guidelines to improve environmental marketing claims such as biodegradable, compostable, recyclable, and recycled content. The revised Guidelines are expected for release within a year.


CAW recognizes the need for Truthful Environmental Advertising and is the sponsor of SB 567 (DeSaulnier), a bill that expands existing labeling requirements on biodegradability and compostability claims to all plastic products. The bill has passed out of the State Legislature and is now on the Governor’s Desk. Ask Governor Brown to sign SB 567 into law—take action here.