Everyday products that claim to be ‘sustainable’ or ‘better for the environment’ may be making misleading claims, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has warned.
Shoppers spent over £130bn on ‘fast-moving consumer goods’ (FMCG) last year, which includes household essentials like food and drink, cleaning items, and personal care items.
A significant number of these are marketed as green or even environmentally friendly, including up to 91 per cent of all dishwashing items and 100 % of toilet products, the CMA said.
The body is launching a review into whether these claims are usually justifiable because part associated with an expansion into its ongoing work into ‘greenwashing’, which seeks to get to the particular bottom of whether products and services that claim to be green or eco-friendly are being marketed to shoppers accurately.
The review will examine a range of essential items used by people on a daily basis and repurchased regularly.
In 2021, the average household spent almost £70 a week on food and drink alone, and the FMCG sector as the whole is worth over £130bn annually.
The CMA will analyse environmental claims made about such products – both online and in store – in order to consider whether companies are complying with UK consumer protection law.
It stated some of the concerning practices it had found were the particular use associated with vague plus broad eco-statements for example packaging or marketing a product since ‘sustainable’ or ‘better for the environment’ with no evidence. There were also misleading claims about the use of recycled or natural materials in an item and how recyclable it is; and entire ranges being incorrectly branded as ‘sustainable’.
Sarah Cardell, chief executive of the particular CMA, mentioned: “These products are the necessities on everyone’s shopping lists: drink and food, shampoo, laundry detergent, toothpaste, cleaning products.
“As more individuals than ever try to do their bit to help protect the environment, we’re concerned many shoppers are being misled plus potentially even paying a premium for products that aren’t what they seem, especially at a time when the cost of living continues to rise. ”
“Our function to date has shown there could be greenwashing going on in this sector, and we’ll become scrutinising companies big plus small in order to see regardless of whether their environment claims stack up. Now is a good time with regard to businesses to review their practices and make sure they’re operating within the legislation. ”
Within January 2022, the CMA turned the eye in order to the fashion sector, launching enforcement action against well-known fashion brands ASOS, Boohoo and George at Asda over their own sustainability statements.
The CMA also produced the Green Claims Code – a guide to help businesses understand exactly how to communicate their eco-friendly credentials, while avoiding the risk of misleading shoppers.
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