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FTC Green Guides and Packaging Workshop
Online, April 30, 2008

The FTC regulates environmental claims in advertising, packaging and marketing. Packaging is coming under scrutiny.

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FTC Workshop: Green Guides and Packaging Workshop
for Federal Regulations about Green Packaging Claims
April 30, 2008
The “Green Guides and Packaging” workshop will be held from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. at the FTC’s satellite building conference center, located at 601 New Jersey Avenue, N.W., Washington, DC. A government-issued photo ID is required for entry. Pre-registration is not required. Members of the public and press who cannot attend can view a live Webcast of the workshop on the FTC’s Web site.

Link to webcast from this page
More information: FTC Greenguides

The Federal Trade Commission is planning to host a public workshop on April 30, 2008, to examine developments in green packaging claims and consumer perception of such claims.

This workshop is one component of the Commission’s regulatory review of the Guides for the Use of Environmental Marketing Claims (16 CFR Part 260), which the FTC previously announced in a Federal Register Notice on November 26, 2007.

The "Green Guides and Packaging" workshop will provide a forum for the discussion of topics such as:

  1. trends in packaging and the resulting environmental packaging claims;
  2. packaging terms currently covered by the Green Guides and whether the perception of these terms has changed over the past decade;
  3. new green packaging terms not currently addressed in the Green Guides;
  4. claims based on third-party certification and consumer perception of such claims;
  5. the impact of scientific and technological changes, including the use of new packaging materials and their impact on the environment;
  6. the current state of substantiation for green packaging claims; and
  7. the need for new or updated FTC guidance in these areas.

A live webcast will be available during the event for those who wish to participate but who cannot attend in person. Just Visit this page on April 30, 2008 to link to the webcast.

The workshop, which is free and open to the public, will be held in Washington, DC, on April 30, 2008, to examine developments in green packaging claims and the consumer perception of such claims.

The FTC’s first Green Guides workshop, held in January, examined issues including the marketing of carbon offsets and renewable energy certificates.

Since the Green Guides were last revised in 1998, there has been a significant increase in the use of environmental claims in product marketing, including “green” claims concerning product packaging. Sellers and marketers frequently use terms addressed in the Green Guides, such as “recyclable,”“recycled content,” “biodegradable,” “degradable,” “compostable,” or “refillable,” to claim that their packaging is green. Sellers and marketers also are now using green claims that are not currently addressed in the Green Guides, including terms such as “sustainable” and “renewable.”

When such claims are used to sell products, consumer perception and substantiation issues may arise. Also, in recent years, there has been an increase in the use of environmental seals and third-party certification programs purporting to verify the positive environmental impact of product packaging. Consumers may have varying interpretations of such seals and programs.

The FTC works for the consumer to prevent fraudulent, deceptive, and unfair business practices and to provide information to help spot, stop, and avoid them.

For questions related to the workshop, contact FTC Attorneys Janice Podoll Frankle (202-326-3022), Laura Koss (202-326-2890), or Anne M. McCormick (202-326-3583), Division of Enforcement, Bureau of Consumer Protection, Federal Trade Commission.

Edited by Carolyn Allen, owner/editor of California Green Solutions
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