ACCC concerned about OxoPak's certification trademarks

Monday, 26 November, 2018

ACCC concerned about OxoPak's certification trademarks

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) is proposing to reject OxoPak’s application for four certification trademarks for certain biodegradable plastics over concerns they are misleading for consumers.

OxoPak is seeking to register the marks as part of its certification scheme for plastic bags and other packaging materials that meet certain specified standards of oxo-biodegradability.

According to the company, they are intended to indicate the product meets "higher standards of degradability, biodegradability, and eco-toxicity than other products within the same product category".

However, the ACCC has concerns that the marks may give consumers the impression that the plastic product complies with certification standards relating to food safety, marine life safety, environmental sustainability and waste reduction.

“We accept that in the right conditions oxo-biodegradable plastics can break down faster than other plastics, but our initial assessment is that these trademarks make representations that go beyond this and may mislead consumers,” ACCC Deputy Chair Mick Keogh said.

“Businesses applying for approval of certification trademarks must ensure that the certification standards are consistent with what the marks indicate to consumers,” he continued. This includes making sure the marks are not misleading, confusing or ambiguous.

The ACCC invites further comments and submissions before it will proceed to a final assessment of the applications in early 2019.

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