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Green Guides Summary

Green Guides Summary

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Published by amitjain310

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Published by: amitjain310 on Oct 09, 2012
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Environmental Claims
Summary of the Green Guides
General Environmental Benefit Claims
Marketers should not make broad, unqualied general environmental benet claims like‘green’ or ‘eco-friendly.’ Broad claims are difcult to substantiate, if not impossible.
Marketers should qualify general claims with specic environmental benets.Qualications for any claim should be clear, prominent, and specic.
When a marketer qualies a general claim witha specic benet, consumers understand the benet to be signicant. As a result, marketersshouldn’t highlight small or unimportant benets.
If a qualied general claim conveys that a product has an overall environmental benet because of a specic attribute, marketersshould analyze the trade-offs resulting from theattribute to prove the claim.
Carbon Offsets
Marketers should have competent and reliable scientic evidence to support carbon offsetclaims. They should use appropriate accounting methods to ensure they measure emissionreductions properly and don’t sell them more than once.
Marketers should disclose whether the offset purchase pays for emission reductions thatwon’t occur for at least two years.
Marketers should not advertise a carbon offset if the law already requires the activity that isthe basis of the offset.
Certifications and Seals of Approval
Certications and seals may be endorsements. According to the FTC’s Endorsement
Marketers should disclose any material connections to the certifying organization. Amaterial connection is one that could affect the credibility of the endorsement.
Marketers shouldn’t use environmental certications or seals that don’t clearly conveythe basis for the certication, because the seals or certications are likely to conveygeneral environmental benets.
To prevent deception, marketers using seals or certications that don’t convey the basisfor the certication should identify, clearly and prominently, specic environmental benets.
Claiming “Green, madewith recycled content”may be deceptive if theenvironmental costs ofusing recycled contentoutweigh the environmentalbenefits of using it.
Marketers can qualify certications based on attributes that are too numerous todisclose by saying, “Virtually all products impact the environment. For details on whichattributes we evaluated, go to [a website that discusses this product].” The marketer should make sure that the website provides the referenced information, and that theinformation is truthful and accurate.
A marketer with a third-party certication still must substantiate all express and impliedclaims.
Marketers who claim a product is compostable need competent and reliable scienticevidence that all materials in the product or package will break down into — or become part of — usable compost safely and in about the same time as the materials with which itis composted.
Marketers should qualify compostable claims if the product can’t be composted at homesafely or in a timely way. Marketers also should qualify a claim that a product can becomposted in a municipal or institutional facility if the facilities aren’t available to asubstantial majority of consumers.
Marketers may make an unqualied degradable claim only if they can prove that the “entire product or package will completely break down and return to nature within a reasonablyshort period of time after customary disposal.” The “reasonably short period of time” for complete decomposition of solid waste products? One year.
Items destined for landlls, incinerators, or recycling facilities will not degrade within ayear, so unqualied biodegradable claims for them shouldn’t be made.
Marketers can make a free-of claim for a product that contains some amount of a substanceif:1. the product doesn’t have more than trace amounts or background levels of the substance;2. the amount of substance present doesn’t cause harm that consumers typically associatewith the substance; and3. the substance wasn’t added to the product intentionally
It would be deceptive to claim that a product is “free-of” a substance if it is free of onesubstance but includes another that poses a similar environmental risk.
If a product doesn’t contain a substance, it may be deceptive to claim the product is“free-of” that substance if it never has been associated with that product category.
Marketers who claim that their product is non-toxic need competent and reliable scienticevidence that the product is safe for both people
the environment.
Ozone-Safe and Ozone-Friendly
It is deceptive to misrepresent that a product is ozone-friendly or safe for the ozone layer or atmosphere.
Marketers should qualifyrecyclable claims when recyclingfacilities are not available to atleast 60 percent of the consumersor communities where a productis sold.
The lower the level of access toappropriate facilities, the more amarketer should emphasize thelimited availability of recyclingfor the product.
Recycled Content
Marketers should make recycled content claims only for materials that have been recoveredor diverted from the waste stream during the manufacturing process or after consumer use.
Marketers should qualify claims for products or packages made partly from recycledmaterial – for example, “Made from 30% recycled material.”
Marketers whose products contain used, reconditioned, or re-manufactured componentsshould qualify their recycled content claims clearly and prominently to avoid deceptionabout the components.
Marketers shouldn’t make unqualied rellable claims unless they provide a way to rellthe package. For example, they can provide a system to collect and rell the package or sella product consumers can use to rell the original package.
If recycling facilities for a product arenot available to at least 60 percent ofconsumers or communities, a marketercan state, “This product may not berecyclable in your area.” If recyclingfacilities for a product are available to onlya few consumers, a marketer should usestronger qualifying language: “This productis recyclable only in the few communitiesthat have appropriate recycling programs.”

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