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FTC looks to further crackdown on ‘greenwashing’ with public input

By Rachel Douglass


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Recycled box. Image: Unsplash

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has requested public comment on its potential updates and changes to the Green Guides for the Use of Environmental Changes.

It comes as consumer interest in buying environmentally-friendly products continues to rise, clashing with the onset of increasingly evident cases of “greenwashing” by brands, uncovered by the FTC and similar consumer authority commissions.

First issued in 1992 and later revised, the Green Guides aims to help marketers avoid making environmental claims that are unfair or deceptive.

In a release, Bureau of Consumer Protection director, Samuel Levine, said: “Consumers are increasingly conscious of how the products they buy affect the environment, and depend on marketers’ environmental claims to be truthful.

“We look forward to this review process, and will make any updates necessary to ensure the Green Guides provide current, accurate information about consumer perception of environmental benefit claims. This will both help marketers make truthful claims and consumers find the products they seek.”

The FTC said it is looking for general comments on subjects such as carbon offsets, the term “recyclable” and the need for additional guidance for other related terms and phrases.

The commission is also seeking information on consumer perception evidence of environmental claims, including those not in the guides currently.