The Federal Trade Commission has proposed changes to its Green Guides that will caution marketers against blanket, unqualified, or confusing claims. That’s good news since the greenwashing claim "environmentally friendly" is basically meaningless, as is “eco-friendly,” “renewable” and “carbon neutral.”
“In recent years, businesses have increasingly used ‘green’ marketing to capture consumers’ attention and move Americans toward a more environmentally friendly future. But what companies think green claims mean and what consumers really understand are sometimes two different things,” said FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz in a news release. “The proposed updates to the Green Guides will help businesses better align their product claims with consumer expectations.”
The FTC approved the issuance of the proposed revised Green Guides by a 5-0 vote. A summary of the changes can be found on its website. The public comment period will run until December 10, 2010.
In the meantime, use our Eco-labels center to find out what’s really in your favorite foods, cleaners, personal hygiene products, and more.