Misleading green claims on plastic bags cop fines – New ZealandPosted on September 8, 2013 by DrRossH in Plastic Limiting Regulations
“A manufacturer of plastic rubbish bags has been fined $30,000 in the Auckland District Court for breaches of the Fair Trading Act in relation to environmental claims that were liable to mislead.
Pacrite Industries Limited pleaded guilty to ten charges in relation to claims about the oxo-biodegradability and environmental friendliness of its plastic rubbish bags, marketed as “Greensac” or “The Green One”. The claims were made on the bags themselves, the company’s website, in brochures provided to retailers and in media releases.
Pacrite claimed the bags, which contain an additive that makes them oxo-biodegradable, were better for the environment than conventional plastic bags, and its advertising stated or implied the bags would oxo-biodegrade in a landfill.
However, a Commerce Commission investigation found that while it is technically true that oxo-biodegradable plastic bags can break down in a laboratory the representation that the bags would undergo this process in the real world was liable to be misleading. This is because the bags, used for household rubbish, would predominantly end up in landfills and, once covered over, the vast majority of bags will not oxo-biodegrade because the process relies on sufficient oxygen to break down the bags.”