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Following a public comment period, the Federal Trade Commission has approved a final order settling charges that American Plastic Lumber, Inc. (APL), a company that markets plastic lumber and related products, misled consumers about the environmental attributes of its products.

The FTC’s July 2014 complaint states that from at least 2011 through 2013, APL’s ads and marketing materials implied that its products – and the recycled plastics they contain – were made virtually all out of post-consumer recycled content, such as milk jugs and detergent bottles. In reality, the products contained less than 79 percent post-consumer content, on average. The FTC also charged that about eight percent of APL’s products contained no post-consumer recycled content at all, and nearly seven percent of the products were made with only 15 percent post-consumer content.

The final consent order prohibits APL from making deceptive claims regarding environmental benefits for any product or package.

The Commission votes approving the final order was 5-0. (FTC File No. 132-3200; the staff contact is Robert M. Frisby, Bureau of Consumer Protection, 202-326-2098)

The Federal Trade Commission works for consumers to prevent fraudulent, deceptive, and unfair business practices and to provide information to help spot, stop, and avoid them. To file a complaint in English or Spanish, visit the FTC’s online Complaint Assistant or call 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357). The FTC enters complaints into Consumer Sentinel, a secure, online database available to more than 2,000 civil and criminal law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and abroad. The FTC’s website provides free information on a variety of consumer topics. Like the FTC on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, and subscribe to press releases for the latest FTC news and resources.

Contact Information

Mitchell J. Katz
Office of Public Affairs