NAD Recommends MicroGREEN Polymers Discontinue Challenged Claims for ‘InCycle’ Food Service Products

New York, NY – May 7,  2015 – The National Advertising Division has recommended that MicroGREEN Polymers, Inc. discontinue certain claims for the company’s “InCycle” food service products. The claims at issue were challenged by Dart Container Corporation, a competing manufacturer of single-use foodservice products, including plastic cups and lids.

NAD is an investigative unit of the advertising industry system of self-regulation. It is administered by the Council of Better Business Bureaus.

Claims at issue in this inquiry included:

  • “Made from recycled water bottles.”
  • “I used to be a water bottle.”
  • “Please recycle this InCycle cup.”
  • “They can be recycled again and again.”

NAD also considered whether the advertising at issue implied that InCycle food service products are more beneficial to the environment than competing products.

During the course of NAD’s review, the advertiser noted that it was updating its marketing materials to properly qualify or remove all recycled-content claims and said that all textual recycled -content claims had already been revised to be in compliance with Federal Trade Commission guidelines.  The advertiser stated that it was also in the process of replacing all images on its website that displayed unqualified recycled content claims.

Following its review of the evidence in the record, NAD determined that the advertiser did not provide a reasonable basis for its unqualified recyclability claims because it did not show that that a “substantial majority” of consumers have access to recycling facilities for its InCycle cups.

NAD recommended that the advertiser discontinue its unqualified recyclability claims and follow guidelines in developing future marketing communications concerning the recyclability of its InCycle cups.

With regard to its general environmental benefit claims, NAD noted that it appreciated Microgreen’s commitment to discontinue or revise graphics and claims used on its InCycle products to specifically list the environmental benefits of its InCycle products and avoid making general environmental benefit claims that cannot be substantiated, modifications which NAD deemed necessary and proper under the circumstances.

NAD noted in its decision that Microgreen committed to voluntarily discontinue claims that foam products are “dangerous to marine life” and “impossible to recycle,” actions which, given the absence of reliable substantiation in the record, NAD deemed necessary and proper under the circumstances.

At the conclusion of the proceeding, NAD was informed that there was no one remaining at the company with the authority to act on its behalf.  Thus, NAD was unable to obtain an Advertiser’s Statement.