FTC Cracks Down On Misleading And Unsubstantiated Environmental Marketing Claims

The FTC (Federal Trade Commission) provides guidance in Part 260 – GUIDES FOR THE USE OF ENVIRONMENTAL MARKETING CLAIMS.  The guides help marketers avoid making environmental marketing claims that are unfair or deceptive…[t]he Commission, however, can take action under the FTC Act if a marketer makes an environmental claim inconsistent with the guides.

Below are some examples of environmental claims that resulted in legal actions.

Smith v. Keurig Green Mt., United States District Court for the Northern district of California, June 28, 2019, 393 F. supp. 3d 837, 2019 US Dist. LEXIS 108947.

 A consumer alleged that Keurig sells various single-serve plastic coffee pods (“Pods”), some of which Keurig markets and sells as “recyclable.”   The consumer claims she purchased the single-serve plastic coffee pods in reliance that they were recyclable.

Jou v. Kimberly-Clark Corp. United States District Court for the Northern District of CaliforniaDec 10, 20132013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 173216

Buyers alleged that branding and marketing of diapers and baby wipes were misleading, their claims under California’s consumer laws survived in part because they alleged facts that plausibly suggested that reasonable consumer would be misled into believing that “pure and natural” diapers contained no non-natural ingredients.


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