More than half of UK consumers take environmental considerations into account when buying products. After CMA investigation of the impact of green marketing on consumers, including leading – alongside other global authorities – analysis of websites, these authorities have found that 40 % of green claims made online could be misleading.
On 21st May, the CMA launched its consultation on draft guidance for businesses about ‘green’ claims. Their draft guidance:
- ‘explains the best way for businesses to communicate their green credentials, while reducing the risk of misleading customers’,
- ‘is based on a careful review of how these claims are being made and how people respond to them’,
- is intended to apply to all businesses selling goods and services in all sectors of the economy, and
- recognises that ‘different considerations will arise in different sectors’.
Their draft guidance includes the topics of claims for products that are ‘biodegradable’, ‘compostable’ or ‘recyclable’ and it says this can be problematic when such properties ‘only apply to parts of a product or in certain conditions’. It goes on to say that claims about product recyclability need to be clear on whether they apply to the whole product or just part of it and instructions on how to recycle the product should be provided.
Having participated in a CMA Round Table meeting earlier this year and with REA members who have interests in and who are affected by ‘biodegradable’ and ‘compostable’ product claims, it is likely the REA will respond to this consultation.