Categories: Green

FTC Overhauls Its Green Guides

The Federal Trade Commission exists to protect consumers from unfair or deceptive practices in marketing, without hampering legitimate marketing efforts. One area of marketing that’s needed additional oversight in recent years is marketing related to “green living” or environmentally friendly products. One of the main problems the FTC faces in this effort is the lack of standardization for businesses in and related to the industry. The FTC recently stepped in and announced major changes to its Green Guides in an effort to offer greater protection for consumers interested in making purchasing decisions based on what’s best for the planet.

What Changes did the FTC Make?

By and large the big beneficiaries of the recent FTC changes are consumers who are interested in buying more green products. In the past, there’s been no requirement for businesses to support claims they made in relation to their products being organic, certified organic, all-natural, chemical-free, and many other misleading claims businesses made in order to get their own little bit of “green” from the green marketplace. The new FTC requirements place the onus on businesses to substantiate and qualify these claims they make to consumers. Further, it forces all business marketers, regardless of the sizes of their businesses, to eliminate unfair and deceptive acts and practices that impact commerce. As an added bonus for consumers weary of conflicts of interest and other “gray areas” of the green industry, the new guidelines require businesses to reveal relationships that may provide conflicts of interests between business owners and regulating or certifying agencies.

What Does this Mean for Consumers?

Many products you purchase every day as green products are exactly what you believe them to be. You form these beliefs based on the advertisements you see and your faith in the brand or business presenting these products and/or opportunities to you. Retailers are now required to provide supporting documentation to support the claims they make about when it comes to the “green” factor surrounding their goods. For instance, the Botanical Bliss mattress by PlushBeds are GOLS (Global Organic Latex Standard) Certified. This means they’ve met various criteria regarding the manufacturing, packaging, labeling, processing, trading, distributing, and even in the labor they choose. The criteria are all set to determine products that positively impact health, safety, welfare, and the Earth. As a green mattress, the Botanical Bliss Collection has also earned the GreenGuard Gold Certification, formerly GreenGuard Children and Schools Certification. This particular certification pays special attention to safety factors for the most sensitive or vulnerable members of the population, such as children and the elderly. The certification indicates that these mattresses are safe to use in schools and healthcare facilities. The new FTC Green Guides help consumers interested in making purchasing choices that are good for the planet do just that. PlushBeds shares your commitment to the planet and works to create mattresses that serve the needs of the planet as well as the needs of the people who sleep on them.

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    Amber Merton

    Amber Merton is an accomplished writer on the topics of green living and sleep. Her work has been covered in numerous online publications. Amber has been a regular author on the PlushBeds blog for the past 7 years.

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