WASHINGTON - In a month, the Federal Trade Commission could decide if the Society of the Plastics Industry Inc.'s resin identification code should be declared illegal as the government trade body deliberates possible modifications to its 1992 environmental marketing guidelines, an FTC attorney said July 18. Michael Dershowitz, senior attorney with the FTC division of advertising practices, said environmental groups raised the question of the code's legality. The FTC may hold a public hearing on the subject. A meeting has not been scheduled, but it may be held in late August, he said.
Sacramento-based Californians Against Waste has indicated it wants to outlaw the SPI code, which CAW claims confuses consumers into making incorrect assumptions about the recyclability of products.
In its original guidelines, the FTC ruled the SPI code, if posted inconspicuously, did not claim to reflect the recyclable nature of a plastic item.
Any questions to be raised in the August public hearing would come from the comments the FTC receives during a 30-day comment period, which Dershowitz said is expected to begin around the end of July following the FTC's release of its latest environmental marketing standards.
Pending a Federal Register announcement of revised FTC environmental marketing guidelines, Dershowitz would not confirm which aspects of recycling claims might be subject to discussion.