WA online traders guilty of ‘greenwashing’
WA Consumer Protection recently took part in a project, along with other members of the International Consumer Protection Enforcement Network, aimed at uncovering bogus environmental claims on the internet. The results won’t do much to shore up faith in the green credibility of online traders.
About 40% of the 1095 websites scrutinised made environmental claims or used eco-friendly brand names or language that wasn’t supported by evidence. Concerns were raised for about a third of the 74 Australian traders that were targeted.
WA Commissioner for Consumer Protection Lanie Chopping wasn’t impressed. “Companies that make false or misleading claims are effectively stealing customers from traders who are offering products with a genuine environmental benefit,” Chopping says. “Consumers should be able to easily choose between those traders that are doing the right thing for the environment and those who are not.”