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managed in a way that inhibits degradation by minimizing moisture and oxygen. Degradation will be irrelevant for those trash bags that are incinerated and, for those disposed of in landfills, the marketer does not possess adequate substantiation that the bags will degrade in a reasonably short period of time in a landfill. The claim is, therefore, deceptive.

Example 2

A commercial agricultural plastic mulch film is advertised as “Photodegradable” and qualified with the phrase “Will break down into small pieces if left uncovered in sunlight.” The claim is supported by competent and reliable scientific evidence that the product will break down in a reasonably short period of time after being exposed to sunlight and into sufficiently small pieces to become part of the soil. The qualified claim is not deceptive. Because the claim is qualified to indicate the limited extent of breakdown, the advertiser need not meet the elements for an unqualified photodegradable claim, that is, the product will break down and decompose into elements found in nature.

Example 3

A soap or shampoo product is advertised as “biodegradable” with no qualification or other disclosure. The manufacturer has competent and reliable scientific evidence demonstrating that the product, which is customarily disposed of in sewage systems, will break down and decompose into elements found in nature in a short period of time. The claim is not deceptive.

Example 4

A plastic six-pack ring carrier is marked with a small diamond. Many state laws require that plastic six-pack ring carriers degrade if littered, and several state laws also require that the carriers be marked with a small diamond symbol to indicate that they meet performance standards for degradability. The use of the diamond, by itself, does not constitute a claim of degradability.

Compostable

It is deceptive to misrepresent, directly or by implication, that a product or package is compostable. A claim that a product or package is compostable should be substantiated by competent and reliable scientific evidence that all the materials in the product or package will break down into, or otherwise become part of, usable compost (for instance, soil-conditioning material,

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