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    CMA launches investigation into ‘eco-friendly’ claims

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    The Competition and Markets Authority has launched an investigation into the descriptions and labels used to promote products and services claiming to be ‘eco-friendly’.

    The regulator expressed concern on the potential for misleading, vague or false claims about the sustainability or environmental impact as the demand for green products and services increases.

    According to a 2019 Co-op report, UK consumers spent £41 billion a year on ethical goods and services, almost four times as much as people spent two decades ago.

    “Increasing numbers of people are quite rightly concerned about the environment and want to play their part by being greener. Our role is to make sure that consumers can trust the claims they see on products for sale and don’t fork out extra for items falsely presented as eco-friendly,” commented Andrea Coscelli, CMA chief executive.

    Omission of all relevant information about the sustainability of a product or service – whether it’s highly polluting or non-recyclable for example – would also come into the ambit of the investigation.

    Fast-moving consumer goods, including food and beverages, beauty products and cleaning products, will be a focus area of the probe, alongside textiles and fashion and travel and transport.

    The CMA intends to publish guidance for businesses next Summer.

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