FTC rules on green claims

Share This Page

If your clients make environmental claims, you'll want to tell them about the FTC's decision in the ECM BioFilms case.

Among other things, the Commission opinion affirmed three key findings made by the Administrative Law Judge:

  1. that ECM made deceptive claims that plastics treated with its additive would completely biodegrade in a landfill within nine months to five years;
  2. that ECM falsely represented that scientific tests supported that claim; and
  3. that ECM provided its customers – companies that manufacture plastics – with marketing materials that contained misleading representations and encouraged them to use those materials in advertising to their own customers, “thereby passing the deceptive claim along the supply chain.” 

In addition, the Commission found that ECM made implied claims that plastic products treated with its additive will biodegrade in a reasonably short period of time, or within five years, and that those claims were false and unsubstantiated. That portion of the opinion reversed the ALJ’s finding.

Commissioner Ohlhausen filed a partial dissent.

Read the Commission opinion for more information and bookmark the Business Center’s Environmental Marketing page to stay up on the latest.


Add new comment

Comment Policy

Privacy Act Statement

It is your choice whether to submit a comment. If you do, you must create a user name, or we will not post your comment. The Federal Trade Commission Act authorizes this information collection for purposes of managing online comments. Comments and user names are part of the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) public records system (PDF), and user names also are part of the FTC’s computer user records system (PDF). We may routinely use these records as described in the FTC’s Privacy Act system notices. For more information on how the FTC handles information that we collect, please read our privacy policy.