San Diego, California - Following a public comment period, the Federal Trade Commission has approved a final order settling charges that an Illinois-based firm that manufactures, markets, and sells plastic lumber made deceptive claims in its advertising and marketing material, including that many of its products are made entirely of recycled plastic. In reality, according to the FTC, the products were made of less than three-quarters recycled plastic.

Under the final FTC consent order, the company, Engineered Plastics Systems, LLC (EPS), must have credible evidence including scientific proof if necessary, to support any environmental benefit claims it makes.  The final order also requires EPS to specifically substantiate any claims it makes about the amount of recycled content in its products.  In addition, the final order prohibits such claims unless they are true and not misleading.

The Commission vote approving the final order was 5-0. (FTC File No. 132-3204; the staff contact is Robert Frisby, Bureau of Consumer Protection, 202-326-2098)