Glass Industry Seeks Tighter FTC Guidelines

Glass Industry Seeks Tighter FTC Guidelines

The glass industry wants the Federal Trade Commission to clarify the definitions of “recyclable” and “recycled content” because the descriptors are being used in ways that confuse or deceive consumers.

The Glass Packaging Institute (GPI) submitted comments to the FTC as it reviews and updates its Green Guides, its environmental marketing rules. The FTC decided to analyze the guidelines a year ahead of a scheduled review because of the proliferation of environmental claims used to market products.

The GPI claims consumers have high standards for what constitutes “recyclable.” It cited a survey that showed 77 percent of respondents expect that products may bear the label “recyclable” if more than half of it can be returned to its original use. The same survey showed 54 percent of respondents felt “recyclable” packaging can be returned to its original use indefinitely.

“In recent years there have been efforts within the packaging industry to change the definition of the term ‘recyclable’ to include the materials that are really ‘downcycled,’ or changed from one form to another,” said GPI President Joseph Cattaneo.

The group says only glass, which is “endlessly reusable and recyclable,” fits the bill. GPI recommends the FTC also set timelines to support degradability claims, as well as guidance for the proper usage of sustainable, renewable and health claims.
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