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FTC to Hold Workshop on “Recyclable” Claims

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) will host a half-day public workshop, “Talking Trash at the FTC: Recyclable Claims and the Green Guides,” on May 23, 2023. Topics of discussion at the workshop will include: the current state of recycling practices and recycling-related advertising in the U.S.; 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.

By way of background, the FTC announced on December 14, 2022, that it would be reviewing its Green Guides for the Use of Environmental Claims (Green Guides) to assess the need for updates and changes to the Guides. First published in 1992, the Green Guides address a number of environmental marketing claims, reflecting the FTC’s interpretation of how it would evaluate the claim under Section 5 of the FTC Act. The FTC’s Request for Public Comments, published in the Federal Register on December 20, 2022, seeks public feedback on the value and ongoing need for the Guides, whether the FTC should issue a rule, among others, and poses questions about several specific claims, including several questions about “recycling” claims. Comments were originally due February 21, 2023, but FTC extended the comment period to April 24, 2023.

The FTC will publish a more detailed agenda in advance of the scheduled workshop. Written comments on this topic must be received by June 13, 2023. More workshops on other environmental marketing topics may be scheduled in the coming months as the FTC considers the issues.