The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) can protect consumers against exaggerated environmental claims on packaging by enforcing laws and regulations that require companies to accurately and truthfully label and advertise their products. The FTC has specific guidelines for environmental marketing claims, which are known as the "Green Guides." These guidelines provide guidance to companies on how to make environmental claims in a way that is truthful, accurate, and not deceptive or misleading.
The Green Guides outline a number of specific practices that companies should avoid when making environmental claims, including:
- Misleading consumers about the environmental benefits of a product or service
- Using environmental terms or images to imply that a product is more environmentally friendly than it really is
- Overstating the environmental benefits of a product or service
- Failing to qualify or disclose the limits of an environmental claim
If a consumer believes that a company is making exaggerated or false environmental claims on its packaging, they can file a complaint with the FTC. The FTC will then review the complaint and take appropriate action if necessary, which may include issuing fines or requiring the company to change its marketing practices.
In addition to enforcing the Green Guides, the FTC also has the authority to take legal action against companies that engage in deceptive or misleading advertising practices more broadly. This includes taking action against companies that make false or exaggerated claims about the environmental benefits of their products.