N.E.W. agrees to change marketing claims for plastic lumber

By Gayle S. Putrich
Staff Reporter

Published: February 27, 2014 2:13 pm ET
Updated: February 27, 2014 5:25 pm ET

Related to this story

Topics Construction, Sustainability, Public Policy

WASHINGTON — A Wisconsin-based plastic lumber manufacturer will stop marketing its products as fully recyclable and made from mostly recycled content under an agreement with the U.S. Federal Trade Commission.

According to the FTC complaint, N.E.W. Plastics Corp., which also does business as Renew Plastics, has been making false and misleading statements about the Evolve and Trimax brands of plastic lumber. FTC alleges that between September 2012 and March 2013, the company claimed that its Evolve products were made from 90 percent or more recycled high density polyethylene, that its Trimax products were made from primarily post-consumer content like milk jugs and detergent bottles, and that both Evolve and Trimax are completely recyclable.

FTC says that during that time period, "Evolve contained, at most, 58 percent recycled plastic," and the post-consumer content of Trimax products was less than 12 percent on average.

Under the FTC settlement, N.E.W. must have "credible evidence" to support its recycled-content claims and is required to tell its distributors to remove any marketing material for the two products. N.E.W. is also barred by the proposed order from making recyclability claims about any product or package, unless the product or package can be recycled at facilities accessed by at least 60 percent of consumers or communities where the products are sold.

"Evolve and Trimax are not recyclable at recycling facilities available to a substantial majority of consumers or communities where N.E.W. sells them," the complaint says, which renders the company's claims "false and misleading."

The order, which was unanimously adopted by the commission, will be in force for 20 years and violation of its terms, if it is finalized, could lead to steep fines for N.E.W. Plastics.

The proposed consent order will remain open for public comment for 30 days, after which FTC must respond to comments before finalizing the order.

"N.E.W. Plastics regrets that some of our lumber product marketing materials were believed to contain incorrect or unsubstantiated information; it was never our intent to mislead our customers or consumers. It should be noted that we have worked cooperatively with the FTC and that this agreement does not, in any way, involve the quality, reliability or durability of our products nor does it issue any fines," the company said in an emailed statement.

"We have agreed to contact our clients to dispose of current marketing collateral which will be replaced with new materials meeting FTC guidelines. N.E.W. Plastics takes great pride in our high quality products and in being a leader and innovator in plastic recycling technology for more than three decades. We take our commitment to the environment seriously and follow policies and practices that protect the environment for future generations."

While Springdale, Ark.-based Advanced Environmental Recycling Technologies Inc. gets credit for bringing wood-plastic composite decking to market, plastic lumber was invented by N.E.W.'s founder, Irv Vincent, in 1973. Vincent's family-owned company has also been blow molding containers since 1968.

In May 2009, N.E.W. — which stands for North East Wisconsin — acquired the intellectual property and equipment of the foundering Anderson, Ind.-based Trimax Building Products Inc., a manufacturer of fiberglass-reinforced recycled HDPE structural plastic lumber.


Comments

N.E.W. agrees to change marketing claims for plastic lumber

By Gayle S. Putrich
Staff Reporter

Published: February 27, 2014 2:13 pm ET
Updated: February 27, 2014 5:25 pm ET

Post Your Comments


Back to story


More stories

Image

PET to PET boosts recycling capacity

September 18, 2014 11:14 am ET

PET to PET Recycling Austria GmbH, a bottle-to-bottle PET recycling operation backed by Coca-Cola Hellenic Bottling and several beverage...    More

Image

Minnesota receives grant to help develop new bioplastics

September 17, 2014 4:08 pm ET

The University of Minnesota has received a $20 million grant to fund the development of new types of bioplastics.    More

Image

Georg Fischer closing SC pipe plant

September 17, 2014 2:58 pm ET

Georg Fischer Central Plastics LLC (GFCP) closed its manufacturing operation for pipe components in Abbeville, S.C., on Sept. 15, putting 17...    More

Image

ACI expanding in South Carolina

September 17, 2014 12:56 pm ET

Reprocessor and recycler ACI Plastics Inc. is expanding in South Carolina.    More

Image

Symphony Environmental defends biodegradable plastics in recycling stream

September 17, 2014 11:47 am ET

Symphony Environmental Technologies plc, one of the world's largest oxo-biodegradable technology companies, has responded to a leading Mexican recycle...    More

Market Reports

Plastics Caps & Closures Market Report

The annual recap of top trends and future outlook for the plastics caps & closures market features interviews with industry thought leaders and Bill Wood’s economic forecast of trends in growing end markets. You will also gain insight on trends in caps design, materials, machinery, molds & tooling and reviews of mergers & acquisitions.

Learn more

Shale Gas Market - Analysis of North American Region

This report highlights the impact of shale-based natural gas on the North American plastics market and features an in-depth analysis of production trends in the United States during 2013 and a forecast for 2014 and beyond.

Learn more

Thermoformed Packaging 2014 Market Review & Outlook – North America

This in-depth report analyzes economic and market trends, legislative/regulatory activity impacting supply and demand, business opportunities and threats, materials pricing, manufacturing technology, as well as growth strategies being implemented by thermoformed packaging companies.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

January 14, 2015 - January 14, 2015Plastics in Automotive

February 4, 2015 - February 6, 2015Plastics News Executive Forum 2015

More Events