Submission Number: 00137
Received: 12/8/2010 11:39:53 AM
Commenter: Megan Daum
Organization: Can Manufacturers Institute
State: District of Columbia
Agency: Federal Trade Commission
Initiative: Guides for the Use of Environmental Marketing Claims; Project No. P954501
Attachments: No Attachments
December 8, 2010
Re: Comments on Proposed, Revised Green Guides, 16 CFR Part 260, Project P954501
Dear Sir or Madam:
I am writing on behalf of the Can Manufacturers Institute (CMI), the national trade association of the can manufacturing industry and its suppliers. The Can Manufacturers Institute, which received its charter in 1938, represents companies who manage plants in 36 states. Our companies employ some 32,000 people and account for the annual domestic production of 130 billion food, beverage and general line metal cans.
I am writing to submit comments on behalf of the can manufacturing industry with regard to the FTC’s Proposed Revisions to the Green Guides.
We agree with the current guideline that “marketers should not advertise a product or package as ‘recyclable’ unless ‘it can be collected, separated, or otherwise recovered from the solid waste stream for reuse, or in the manufacture or assembly of another package or product, through an established recycling program’” and we support continuing the adoption of the three-tiered approach for designating a product’s recyclability based on availability. We are in agreement with the proposed revisions for section 260.11 (pages 213-217).
We support quantifying the “substantial majority” and “significant percentage” thresholds in order to avoid confusion. By definition a “substantial majority” would require a minimum 60% threshold. At half, 50% not a majority. 55% is a majority, but surely not a “substantial” one; 60% would therefore be the lowest number that could satisfy that designation. We agree with footnote 263 that states: 60% “is an appropriate minimum threshold because it is consistent with the plain meaning of ‘substantial majority.’ The adjective ‘substantial’ requires that there be something greater than a simple majority” (89).
Section 260.11, Example 6 (pages 215-216) references packages composed of several layers with only one layer made of recyclable material. We agree with the FTC’s conclusion that claiming a “substantial majority” for recycling availability is deceptive due to the fact that only a few of the programs have the capability to separate the layers. We would further suggest that the proposed qualified claim: “Includes material recyclable in the few communities that can process multi-layer products” be quantified to make clear to consumers just how much of the package is recyclable or what percentage of the package that recyclable material makes up.
As for the question about whether products with advertisements of “made with recycled materials” should be asked to qualify those statements and indicate whether or not that product is recyclable, we would argue that a “made with recycled materials” claim could be misleading to consumers who would assume that a product made of materials that could be recycled once would be able to continue the process and be recycled again. The mobius loop and the concept of “recycling” seems to indicate a process that occurs multiple times. If a product that advertises that it is “made with recycled materials” cannot itself be recycled, there should be a designation for consumers such as “not recyclable” or “Please dispose of this in your trash bin.”
We believe that it is still timely to include language about “ozone safe” or “ozone friendly” claims. There is still a perception among some consumers that certain aerosol consumer products are bad for the ozone layer. An “ozone safe” or “ozone friendly” or “no CFCs” claim may still provide useful information.
Thank you for the opportunity to comment on the FTC Green Guide. Please contact me at 202.232.4677 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions.
Can Manufacturers Institute