The Retailer Winter Edition 2022

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From 1 April 2022 a new tax will apply to plastic packaging manufactured in or imported into the UK which does not con tain at least 30 per cent recycled plastic.”

4. Green claims In December last year theAdvertising Standards Authority (ASA) published new guidance for firms claiming certain environmental and social credentials which maymislead consumers. The wording in this guidance has raised concerns in the industry, in particular over how companies can be expected to “consider howknowledgea ble the audience of marketing communications are likely to be, and should not assume a high level of understanding, particularly if ads are untargeted”. The implications of this (and the guidance as a whole) are wide-ranging, particularly if a similar approach is taken where companies are reporting to stakeholders as well as cus tomers. For example, it’s not clear whether green or socially responsible claims should adhere to the guidance only in ad campaigns or also on products, in all company literature and even for a firm’s supply chain. The last in particular is extremely challenging to calibrate accurately, leaving firms open to potentially unlimited claims. The ASA guidance followed on from the Competition and Markets Authority guidance on ‘Making Environmental claims on good and services’ which was published in September 2021, which set out a number of principles which green claims must adhere to. We are of the view that further clarity will be needed to provide accurate definitions of environmental claims, based on data and factual evidence.

Michelle Headridge

David Young

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