With the COP 26 summit on the horizon and sustainability high on the list of consumer concerns, businesses are understandably keen to promote their environmental credentials. As regulatory bodies crack down on so called “green washing” it is more important than ever that advertisers are able to back up any claims they make about the eco-friendliness of their products.
Ahead of a series of investigations into certain categories of environmental claims commencing next Spring, the Advertising Standards Authority has published a useful reminder of its approach to recycling claims. In particular, advertisers should:
- hold evidence supporting such claims before the publication of the relevant advert
- not omit any salient information
- not give a misleading impression of the overall environmental impact of their products or manufacturing processes
- not exaggerate the recyclability of products or their packaging, if for example there are components of the products or packaging which cannot be widely recycled.
Businesses should take this opportunity to review their environmental claims and consider whether they really stand up to scrutiny.
Consumers are increasingly conscious of trying to make an effort to recycle the packaging and goods they consume. To this end, marketers will want to be cautious about making claims exaggerating the environmental credentials of a product that is not widely recyclable.