LABEL REPORT CARD
|How meaningful is the label?||Is the label verified?||Is the meaning of the label consistent?||Are the label standards publicly available?||Is information about the organization publicly available?||Is the organization free from conflict of interest?||Was the label developed with broad public and industry input?|
1. There are no standards for the environmentally friendly label.
2. There are no standards for the environmentally friendly label.
3. The producer or manufacturer decides whether to use the claim and is not free from its own self-interest.
WHAT THIS GENERAL CLAIM MEANS:
There is no government or official definition for this term.
WHO VERIFIES THIS GENERAL CLAIM?
There is no organization behind this claim other than the company manufacturing or marketing the product.
CONSUMERS UNION EVALUATION:
Environmentally friendly is a general claim that implies that the product or packaging has some kind of environmental benefit or that it causes no harm to the environment. There is currently no standard definition for the term. Unless otherwise specified, there is no organization independently certifying this claim. The producer or manufacturer decides whether to use the claim and is not free from its own self-interest.
All products have some environmental impact. Some manufacturers may
cite specific reasons why they consider a product to be “environmentally friendly,” while others may not. Without more specific information, there is no way to determine whether products labeled “environmentally friendly” are in any way better for the environment or cause less harm than other products. To learn more about what is meant by this term, consumers must contact the manufacturer.
Foods, drugs, and cosmetics are required to list their ingredients (with a few exceptions, such as fragrances in cosmetics), but household cleaning products are not required to disclose their ingredients (except for disinfectants or other ingredients considered to be antimicrobial pesticides).
The U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the International Standards Organization (ISO) consider this claim to be too vague to be meaningful to consumers. The FTC guidance requires manufacturers to either avoid such terms or substantiate and qualify them to avoid misleading consumers. To comply with the ISO standard for environmental claims (which is voluntary), companies must not use them on their products.