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Follow the Rules: What does "Recycled" Mean to You? New Guide Requires Precision

February 28, 2013

Scott Attman, Acme Paper & Supply Co. for Franchise Times

Now that the Federal Trade Commission’s new Green Guides are in effect, restaurant industry and other franchisors can expect big changes in several elements of their business. For starters, marketers who pitch products as environmentally friendly have to back up their claims or face fines. If the FTC finds product marketing misleading, it will begin filing suits against the companies in question, just as it does for health claims made by food manufacturers. Precise verbiage in product descriptions will be important, but there are many other changes to come.

Changing designations
Product descriptions, certifications and seals of approval will be highly monitored and items that were once included in a supplier’s “green” or “environmentally friendly” product category will most likely change designations in the coming months. 

For example, traditional plastic foodservice products made from Recycled Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET) are often labeled as “made from recycled content.” But producing claims such as “green, made with recycled content” may be deceptive if the environmental costs of using recycled materials outweigh the environmental benefits of using the product. 

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