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On December 14, 2022, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced 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 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 are due on April 24, 2023.

To further flesh out issues related to recyclable claims, on March 1, 2023, the FTC announced that it will host a half-day public workshop, “Talking Trash at the FTC: Recyclable Claims and the Green Guides,” on May 23, 2023. The workshop will explore “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.”

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.