Hints & HELP!
submitted by Lorene Bartos, Extension Educator
article appeared in the Lincoln Journal Star Newspaper.
the holiday season just around the corner everyone is thinking
about gift lists and buying gifts. Purchasing gifts with
the environment in mind should be a goal of everyone that
is shopping. What does the label tell us about how environmentally
friendly an item is? With all the retail merchandise, environmentally
conscious consumers may be reading labels and be confused.
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has issued guidelines
to outline principles and help prevent false and misleading
environmental marketing claims. Definitions for many environmental
terms are not standardized and are formally government regulated.
The following eight environmental marketing claims are included
in the FTC guidelines.
-- can be collected, separated or recovered from the solid
waste stream for use in a raw material form in the manufacture
or assembly of a new product. Recyclable claims should be
qualified in the event of limited availability of recycling
programs and collection sites.
content -- is designated only for materials recovered
or diverted from the solid waste stream. This can be either
during the manufacturing process (pre-consumer) or after
consumer waste (post-consumer). Products or packages partially
made of recycled materials should be qualified to indicate
the amount, by weight, in the finished product or package.
safe or friendly -- should not be advertised as such,
or that it contains no CFCs, if the product contains any
friendly or safe -- claims should be avoided or qualified
Source reduction -- in weight, volume or toxicity
should be qualified to avoid consumer deception.
-- claims should not be made unless a system is provided
for the collection and return of the package for refill,
or if the package can be refilled by consumers with the
same product sold in another package.
-- claims that are unqualified should be substantiated
by evidence that all the materials in the product or package
will safely break down into useable compost in a timely
biodegradable, photodegradable -- claims should be substantiated
by evidence that the product will completely decompose into
elements found in nature within a reasonably short period
of time after consumers dispose of it in the customary way.
aware of the meaning of these claims can help us, as consumers,
to be more environmentally conscious as we shop. Buying
recycled items is being a smart shopper. RememberóReduce,
to Household Hints & HELP