FTC reworks environmental marketing guidelines

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is reworking its environmental marketing guidelines to ensure that consumers better understand the various claims made on packages and in advertising.

The new regulations are expected to be out in June or July. As part of the process, FTC submitted questions to the Council on Packaging in the Environment (COPE) for its latest survey on consumer environmental attitudes. The agency will use the responses in making decisions on labeling guidelines.

The results of the survey showed that recycling has gained in popularity, with 56% of respondents saying they recycle "very often." Consumers also continued to express a preference for recyclable packaging. Significantly, environmental issues now ranked last among a list of problems and priorities facing the nation.

"A lot of the environmental laws have been driven by public outcry on packaging," observed COPE president Steve Young, adding that it's too soon to tell how the public's priorities will affect the development of environmental legislation.

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