, 2015 

BPI News Library

News and information from BPI.
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  • 03 Apr 2009 4:58 PM | David S. Brooks (Administrator)
    Recently the Wall Street Journal published a review about the confusing range of "eco-certification" programs and schemes facing consumers and packaged good providers.

    The story cited the BPI’s Compostable Logo program as one of 15 green-label programs recognized by leading corporations and environmental groups as a good benchmark for accurate certification of environmental claims.
  • 03 Apr 2009 4:55 PM | David S. Brooks (Administrator)
    The Federal Court of Australia declared on March 30 that a director who approved her company’s advertising had been knowingly made false and misleading claims about biodegradability.  Ms Charishma Seneviratne, while a director of SeNevens International Ltd, approved the company’s claim that the whole of its Safeties Nature Nappy product was biodegradable, when she knew that was not the case.

    Justice Marshall has imposed a five-year injunction on Ms Seneviratne restraining her from being party to any nappy biodegradability claims without first having received independent scientific testing of the product being promoted.

    ACCC Chairman, Mr Graeme Samuel said: “This case serves to emphasise that directors cannot hide behind their companies. If a director or employee is knowingly concerned in their company’s misleading conduct, then those individuals also risk personal fines and injunctions.

    The (Australian) Federal Court had previously declared that the company had engaged in false or misleading conduct by making representations that the Safeties Nature Nappy was ‘100% biodegradable’.

    Justice Marshall had previously declared that the biodegradability claims were false and misleading because SeNevens’ Safeties Nature Nappy range contained plastic components that are not capable of being broken down by the biological activity of living organisms.

    Senevens marketed its ‘100% biodegradable’ nappy and nappy disposal bag in Western Australia from November 2006 before expanding to all Australian States and the ACT in March 2007. SeNevens withdrew the product from sale in April 2008 after the ACCC’s investigation into the claims.

    Justice Marshall found that in making the claims SeNevens contravened sections 52 and 53 of the Trade Practices Act 1974 by engaging in misleading conduct about the biodegradability of its Safeties Nature Nappy. Justice Marshall imposed injunctions on SeNevens restraining it from engaging in similar conduct and ordered that SeNevens publish a corrective advertisement and establish a trade practices compliance program.

    “Consumers are actively choosing products that are environmentally friendly.  If a business makes biodegradability claims then it must ensure the claims are supported by rigorous scientific evidence.”
  • 08 Dec 2008 11:46 AM | David S. Brooks (Administrator)

    NAD Recommends Marketer Modify, Discontinue Certain ‘Green’ Marketing Claims

    New York, NY – Dec. 8, 2008 – The National Advertising Division of the Council of Better Business Bureaus has recommended that GP Plastics Corp., the maker of PolyGreen plastic bags for the newspaper industry, modify or discontinue certain advertising claims for its PolyGreen plastic bags

    The company has said it will appeal NAD’s findings to the National Advertising Review Board

    The claims at issue were challenged before NAD, the advertising industry’s self-regulatory forum, by Mexico Plastic Company, doing business as Continental Products, a competing provider of plastic bags for the delivery of newspapers

    Claims at issue included: • PolyGreen plastic bags are “100% oxo-biodegradable”

    • PolyGreen plastic bags are “disposable through ordinary channels” and go “[f]rom front lawn, to waste bins to the landfill”

    • “A greener tomorrow is in the bag.”

    • “The result is obvious – bag it with PolyGreen and increase your margins while saving the planet.”

    • “So why not deliver on what your customers and state and local governments are or will be demanding.”

    • “You won’t notice any difference but the environment will.”

    • “The greatest thing to ever hit the earth.”

    • “Eco-Friendly Plastic Newspaper Bags”

    • PolyGreen plastic bags are “environmentally friendly.”

    • “We are very excited about the prospect of eliminating anything relative to our newspaper that could have a negative affect on our environment.”

    • “Our bags are completely recyclable”

    GP Plastics represented that its plastic bags are manufactured using “oxo-biodegradable” technology. Oxo-biodegradation refers to a two-step process. The first is oxidation, by which the plastic material’s polymers first start to break down into smaller molecular units under exposure to oxygen and heat. The second step involves the further breaking down of the molecular units into carbon dioxide, water and biomass through reaction with naturally occurring microorganisms

    NAD noted that the proprietary additive and technology utilized by GP Plastics is designed to accelerate degradation of its plastic bag, thereby providing a plastic product that potentially offers a legitimate environmental benefit as compared to conventional polyethylene plastic bags. However, NAD observed that there was no evidence in the record that consumers understood “oxobiodegradable” to have a different meaning, or a different impact on the environment, than products that are “biodegradable.” NAD noted that the advertiser’s claim that PolyGreen bags “are disposable through ordinary channels” should similarly be supported by competent and reliable scientific evidence that the entire plastic bag “will completely break down and return to nature … within a reasonably short period of time after customary disposal.” However, NAD determined that the evidence in the record did not support that claim

    NAD recommended that the advertiser discontinue the claim that PolyGreen bags are “100% oxobiodegradable” and otherwise modify its advertising to avoid conveying the message that PolyGreen bags will quickly or completely biodegrade when disposed of through “ordinary channels,” e.g., when placed in a landfill

    NAD further recommended that the advertiser discontinue claims such as “eco-friendly” and “environmentally friendly” as well as the promise of a “green tomorrow” and “saving the planet” because the claims overstate the evidence with respect to the degradation of the plastic bags

    Finally because there was no testing of the PolyGreen plastic bags or evidence demonstrating that product is compatible with the traditional plastic bag recycling stream, NAD recommended that the advertiser discontinue its recyclable claims

    The company, in its advertiser’s statement, said it is a strong supporter of truthful advertising and appreciated the opportunity to participate in the NAD’s self-regulatory process

    However, the company said, it is “disappointed with the NAD’s conclusion that the evidence submitted by GP Plastics did not adequately support GP Plastic’s claims for the oxo-biodegradable and recyclable properties of its plastic bags and disagrees with the NAD’s decision. Accordingly, GP Plastics intends to appeal all findings adverse to GP Plastics in the NAD’s decision to the National Advertising Review Board … .” NAD's inquiry was conducted under NAD/CARU/NARB Procedures for the Voluntary Self-Regulation of National Advertising. Details of the initial inquiry, NAD's decision, and the advertiser's response will be included in the next NAD/CARU Case Report


    About Advertising Industry Self-Regulation: The National Advertising Review Council (NARC) was formed in 1971 by the Association of National Advertisers, Inc. (ANA), the American Association of Advertising Agencies, Inc. (AAAA), the American Advertising Federation, Inc. (AAF), and the Council of Better Business Bureaus, Inc. (CBBB). Its purpose is to foster truth and accuracy in national advertising through voluntary self-regulation. NARC is the body that establishes the policies and procedures for the CBBB’s National Advertising Division (NAD) and Children’s Advertising Review Unit (CARU), as well as for the National Advertising Review Board (NARB) and the Electronic Retailing Self-Regulation Program (ERSP)

    NAD and CARU are the investigative arms of the advertising industry’s voluntary self-regulation program. Their casework results from competitive challenges from other advertisers, and also from self-monitoring traditional and new media. The National Advertising Review Board (NARB), the appeals body, is a peer group from which ad-hoc panels are selected to adjudicate those cases that are not resolved at the NAD/CARU level. This unique, self-regulatory system is funded entirely by the business community; CARU is financed by the children’s advertising industry, while NAD/NARC/NARB’s sole source of funding is derived from membership fees paid to the CBBB. ERSP’s funding is derived from membership in the Electronic Retailing Association. For more information about advertising self regulation, please visit www.narcpartners.org
  • 28 Aug 2008 5:11 PM | David S. Brooks (Administrator)

    Rian Bedard at Me & Ollie's is working with Earthtenders to compost most of the bakery's trash - and he issues a challenge to other local businesses to do the same.

    Rian Bedard, manger of the Me & Ollie's in downtown Portsmouth, is on a mission and is issuing a challenge to local businesses. To make it simple, call it rethinking waste.

    More succinctly, call it thinking seriously about compost and what this means and how much money it can save the city and communities as well as the environment.

    Me & Ollie's Café has launched a program with Earthtenders Organics Recycling.

    "We are separating organic waste from our trash," said Bedard, "and sending it to Earthtenders' composting facility in Farmington, New Hampshire, where it will be made into organic compost."


  • 26 Aug 2008 10:41 AM | David S. Brooks (Administrator)

    THE other day, Cody Anderson, an earnest young salesman at Montauk Sofa on Mercer Street, was extolling the many, many virtues of the

    furniture there while leading me to a buff-colored, chenille-covered, down-filled chaise longue called Stanley. “You want to get right onto it,” he

    said, taking my bag. “Isn’t that amazing?”

    Ploompf. It did feel pretty good. Yet starting this month, the most noteworthy features of Stanley and other Montauk Sofa pieces will be facets you

    won’t be able to see or feel, like wood frames from sustainably managed forests, uncoated nails, organic fabrics and stuffings, nontoxic dyes and,

    something extra: biodegradability.

    “At first the whole idea was to have as little impact on the environment as possible,” said Tim Zyto, chief executive of Montauk. “And then I started

    to think, wouldn’t it be great to have no impact? Then it was, hey, what if the sofa just disappears when you’re done with it?”


  • 25 Aug 2008 9:41 PM | David S. Brooks (Administrator)

    School supply shopping doesn’t have to be your only fun activity this Labor Day.

    Millbrae is hosting its 38th annual Art and Wine Festival on Aug. 30 and Aug. 31, featuring live music, specialty foods and original art exhibitions. The festival is done in the spirit of Mardi Gras, which means it is a big, upbeat outdoor party, said festival spokesperson Tim Beeman.

    “It’s a Labor Day tradition of the Peninsula that people really look forward to,” he said.

    The festival, which lasts from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days, takes place downtown along Broadway, one block west of El Camino Real, covering several blocks between Victoria and Meadow Glen avenues.

    Because the last four years have shown an increasing interest in live music, this year’s festival boasts a lineup of tribute bands from Zepparella—an all-female group covering Led Zeppelin songs — to Roustabout, an Elvis tribute group. Other groups, such as The Best Intentions, who cover Motown classics, Brother Buzz, San Franz, The Reed Fromer Band and Dreamroad are also on the roster.

    The street fair festival usually welcomes over 100,000 attendees.

    “This year, more than ever, because of the uneven economy and because people are staying closer to home,” said Beeman, “we are planning for having a bigger crowd.” Gas prices have also lured Bay Area residents into the comfort of local family festivals like Millbrae’s.

    It’s basically a sea of people in tents, Beeman chuckled. “And it really is a tremendous entertainment value.” Admission is free, and fairgoers merely pay for what they want — good food, potent wine and appealing art.

    Keeping with the Bay Area’s eco-conscious “green” buzz, the festival prides itself on becoming more environmentally friendly each year.

    This year’s production staff will use electric-only vehicles. All serviceware will be compostable and biodegradable, and recycling efforts have increased. “The Boy Scout troop that does all of our on-site cleanup does all our recycling, too, which is a tremendous help,” said John Ford, the president/CEO of the Millbrae Chamber of Commerce.

    Additionally, sponsors of green products will be present at the fair to educate attendees. The Chamber of Commerce is also encouraging all food vendors to make use of the on-site food compost bins to reduce the amount of waste.

  • 25 Aug 2008 9:39 PM | David S. Brooks (Administrator)



    Most people attending the Democratic National Convention will not think twice about where that empty Coke bottle or leftover buffalo burger goes once they toss it in the trash.

    It's headed for "greener" pastures.

    As part of the convention's environmental efforts, many events, including the ones at the Pepsi Center, will collect recyclable and compostable products. <more>

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