Many consumers seek to purchase environmentally friendly products and companies have responded with “green” marketing, which includes claims of environmental benefits and sustainability with respect to what is being sold. Unfortunately, these claims often overstate their impact on the environment or are presented in a way to mislead consumers. This practice is referred to as greenwashing. Not only does it harm consumers, but it potentially harms the reputation of truly eco-friendly companies that are viewed with skepticism or outright distrust due to the deceitfulness of companies that do engage in greenwashing.
This Note discusses the lack of legislation that currently exists to properly punish and deter greenwashing through an examination of the Lanham Act, the Better Business Bureau’s National Advertising Division, and the Federal Trade Commission’s Guides for the Use of Environmental Marketing Claims. Furthermore, it argues that the Federal Trade Commission’s Guides for the Use of Environmental Marketing Claims—while nonbinding—are actually written like legislative rules, and thus should be promulgated as such to make a difference in the fight against greenwashing in the United States.
"An American Dream Gone Green: A Discussion of Existing Environmental Marketing Regulations and the Need for Stricter Legislation,"
Touro Law Review: Vol. 38:
3, Article 8.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.tourolaw.edu/lawreview/vol38/iss3/8