Before greenwashing becomes a federal offense
The US Federal Trade Commission (
By Gail Nickel-Kailing
Published: July 14, 2008
- The use of vague claims implying general environmental improvement are insufficient and should be avoided.
- Environmental claims should be clear, specific, accurate and not misleading.
- Environmental claims should be verified and substantiated, prior to being made.
- Guides for the Use of Environmental Marketing Claims from the FTC, also administrative guidelines, are for US businesses to help comply with "truth in advertising" laws as they pertain to environmental marketing claims.
- General environmental benefit claims
- Claims of degradability, biodegradability, or photodegradability
- Claims that products or packages are compostable
- Claims of recyclability for a product or package
- Claims of recycled content
- Claims that a product or package has been reduced or is lower in weight, volume, or toxicity
- Claims that a package is refillable
- Claims that a product is "ozone safe" or "ozone friendly"