FTC to Host Workshop on “Recyclable” Claims

recycleImage by Shirley Hirst

The Federal Trade Commission announced it will host a workshop on May 23, 2023, in Washington, DC, to examine “recyclable” adverting claims as part of its recently announced review of the Guides for the Use of Environmental Marketing Claims, commonly known as the Green Guides. The workshop, Talking Trash at the FTC: Recyclable Claims and the Green Guides, is free and open to the public, and pre-registration is not required.

The Commission’s Green Guides help marketers avoid making environmental marketing claims that are deceptive under Section 5 of the FTC Act. The FTC is currently reviewing the guides to determine whether updates are necessary. They were first issued in 1992 and were revised in 1996, 1998, and 2012, and provide guidance on environmental marketing claims, including how consumers are likely to interpret particular claims and how marketers can substantiate these claims to avoid deceiving consumers.

According to the Federal Register notice, the half-day event will cover topics including: the current state of recycling practices and recycling-related advertising in the United States, consumer perception of current and emerging recycling-related claims, and the need for any updates or other changes to the Green Guides related to recycling claims. The event likely will include panels on these subjects, and a more detailed agenda will be published in the coming months.

The workshop will be held at the Constitution Center in Washington, DC, from 8:30 am to 12:30 pm ET, in the first-floor conference room. It also will be available for viewing live on the internet. Written comments related to the issues to be discussed at the workshop must be received by June 13, 2023. Information about how to submit comments can be found in the notice.

The Commission vote approving publication of the Federal Register notice was 4-0. The lead staffers on this matter are Hampton Newsome and Julia Solomon Ensor in the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection.

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