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deceptive. A product or package that is made from recyclable material should not be marketed as recyclable if it is not accepted in recycling programs because of its size, its shape, or some other attribute.

Example 1

A packaged product is labeled with an unqualified claim “recyclable.’’ It is unclear from the type of product and other context whether the claim refers to the product or its package. The unqualified claim is likely to convey to reasonable consumers that the product and packaging that remain after normal use of the product (except for minor, incidental components) can be recycled. Unless each such message can be substantiated, the claim should be qualified to indicate what portions are recyclable.

Example 2

A nationally marketed 8-oz. plastic cottage cheese container displays the Society of the Plastics Industry (SPI) code (which consists of a design of arrows in a triangular shape containing a number and abbreviation identifying the component plastic resin) on the front label of the container, in close proximity to the product name and logo. The manufacturer’s conspicuous use of the SPI code in this manner constitutes a recyclability claim. Unless recycling facilities for this container are available to a substantial majority of consumers or communities, the claim should be qualified to disclose the limited availability of recycling programs for the container. If the SPI code, without more, had been placed in an inconspicuous location on the container (for instance, embedded in the bottom of the container), it would not constitute a claim of recyclability.

Example 3

A container can be burned in incinerator facilities to produce heat and power. It cannot, however, be recycled into another product or package. Any claim that the container is recyclable is deceptive.

Example 4

A nationally marketed bottle bears the unqualified statement that it is “recyclable.’’ Collection sites for recycling the material in question are not available to a substantial majority of consumers or communities, although collection sites are established in a significant percentage of communities or available to a significant percentage of the population. The unqualified claim is deceptive because, unless evidence shows otherwise, reasonable consumers

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