Environmental Marketing Claims (USA)

In the USA, the use of environmental claims (including any concerning degradability/biodegradability and compostability) in advertising, marketing, and other promotional materials (including through websites and other internet communications vehicles) has been addressed principally by the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) Green Guides (last revised in 2012). Manufacturers and companies selling or using products with TDPA™ in the USA are therefore strongly advised to become familiar with the Green Guides before making any environmental marketing claims.

FTC has explicitly indicated in the Green Guides that unqualified degradable claims for items that are customarily disposed of in landfills are deceptive per se because these locations do not present conditions in which complete decomposition will occur within one year. The Green Guides further state that a degradable claim should be substantiated and qualified with respect to “the product’s or package’s ability to degrade in the environment where it is customarily disposed.” In light of this, EPI advises its manufacturers and end-user customers not to make any environmental claims in the USA concerning the degradation and/or biodegradation of products made with TDPA™.

A variety of state governments in the USA have adopted their own environmental advertising and marketing laws or regulations, often referencing the principles and definitions used in the Green Guides. In addition, the State of California has a unique law that prevents the use of the words ‘degradable’, ‘biodegradable’ and ‘compostable’ in the labelling of plastic products. (See California Public Resources Code, Division 30, Part 3, Chapter 5.7, Sections 42355-42357.) Similar requirements apply to rigid plastic packaging containers prohibiting a person from selling a plastic food or beverage container labeled as ‘degradable’, ‘biodegradable’ and ‘compostable’. Therefore, EPI further advises its manufacturer and end-user customers not to make any environmental claims in the State of California or other US states.

The Green Guides and some U.S. state laws also address claims concerning compostability. Accordingly, EPI recommends that manufacturers and companies selling or using products with TDPA™ related to composting in the USA review and be mindful of these requirements as well.

Due to the above, EPI’s Daisy logo shall not be used on products with TDPA™ offered for sale in the USA or in promotional materials distributed in the USA for such products.