Packaging companies urged to improve data to comply with ‘green’ claims law

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) – a UK government regulatory body – is cracking down on environmental and sustainability claims, warning that businesses have until the new year to ensure their claims comply with the law.

After discovering that 40% of ‘green’ claims could be misleading consumers, CMA has this week released the Green Claims Code: a new anti-greenwash guide for all brands making environ-mental claims.

The UK is currently under scrutiny from the global community on how it plans to tackle its role in the climate crisis. Ahead of Cop26, the launch of the code marks a clear message from the CMA that it intends to do its part in addressing greenwashing and misleading environmental claims by brands, allowing consumers to make more educated choices on how their purchases impact the planet.


Get your green claims right

Published on 20 September 2021, the CMA’s Green Claims Code enables businesses to check their environmental claims are genuinely green. Begin by stress-testing your published marketing communications against the comprehensive recommendations that fall into six key principles:


  1. Claims must be truthful and accurate
  2. Claims must be clear and unambiguous
  3. Claims must not omit or hide important information
  4. Claims must only make fair and meaningful comparisons
  5. Claims must consider the full life cycle of the product
  6. Claims must be substantiated


Legislation driving a green economy

Being recognised as a green organisation can boost sales, improve brand awareness and build customer loyalty. But legislation is also putting increasing emphasis on businesses to be more sustainable, with costs rising for those that fail to prepare for the changes ahead. Extended Producer Responsibility and Plastic Packaging Tax are just two new changes to regulations around packaging that are set to be introduced in the coming years.

"We welcome the CMA’s guidance which we hope will encourage businesses to take a more reasoned and considered approach to sustainability improvements."

Sam Caplen, Data Manager

Sam Caplen, Data Manager at Clarity, said it is vital that data is the driving force behind any commercial and ethical decisions around packaging:

“Plastic has become the villain of packaging, and in the rush to eliminate it, we’ve seen businesses make poor and ill-informed decisions around their product packaging that are not only worse for the environment, but also pose a huge reputation risk. We welcome the CMA’s guidance which we hope will encourage businesses to take a more reasoned and considered approach to sustainability improvements.”

He added: “There are more options than ever before for businesses to ensure that their packaging is sustainable, but it is vital that businesses get to grips with their current packaging exposure, consider the areas in need of focus and the environmental impact of alternatives before taking further steps. With the right data, and the right support, businesses can get the best outcomes for the environment and business.”

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