Recycling in Tel Aviv 370.
(photo credit: Abra Cohen)
The Environmental Protection Ministry is determined to put an end to what it
feels is an all-too-prevalent business phenomenon of misleading consumers
regarding environmental friendliness.
To accomplish this goal and bearing
the slogan “green is not just a color,” the ministry will publish on Monday a
draft guide to prevent consumer deception when purchasing allegedly
environmentally friendly products – otherwise known as
Partaking in this dishonest practice is widespread among
Israeli manufacturers, importers, advertisers and marketers, according to
ministry tests. Within a few months, after receiving public commentary on the
guide, the ministry will release a final version that will be legally
“We are doing everything in order for the green era pretending
to stop,” Environmental Minister Amir Peretz said on Sunday. “You cannot carry
the name green in vain.
If a factory paints its chimneys green, it does
not mean that pollution decreases, and if a neighborhood builds green gates, it
does not mean that this is a green neighborhood.
If a company wants to
claim that its product is really beneficial to the environment, it will have to
explain how it contributes to it and present evidence.”
The contents of
the guide are in part based on ISO 14021, a standard developed by the
International Organization for Standardization in 1999 and updated in 2011,
which provides detailed information on how to present environmental labels and
The guide details how and when a product can be deemed
biodegradable and made from recycled materials, making sure that they meet the
minimum threshold percentage of such materials. On these products, a
confirmation from a standards institute or a presentation of laboratory tests
must appear on the packaging, the website or the service center of the company,
the ministry said.
A product intended for reuse must estimate the number
of times that a customer should be able to reuse it, as well as ensure that
there is a mechanism for the company to collect their reusable products in
Israel and abroad.
Companies that violate any of these guidelines will be
subject to legal proceedings against them, the ministry warned.
claims that a product is ‘environmentally friendly’ will require factual
evidence to back this,” the ministry said.
If relevant tests cannot
provide such evidence, the company will not only risk misleading the public, but
also will be subject to enforcement procedures as well as civil claims, the