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This article applies to selling in: United States

Environmental Marketing Guidelines

Remember: You must comply with all applicable federal laws when listing and selling products on Amazon.com. You must also comply with state and local laws applicable to the jurisdiction into which your products are sold. Sellers using Fulfillment by Amazon, please also see FBA Prohibited Products for additional product restrictions.

We want to make it easy for buyers to find, discover, and buy products that are marketed as environmentally friendly or "green." However, it is also important to provide buyers with information about those products that is accurate and trustworthy, and that is not misleading about the qualities or characteristics of a product that make it environmentally friendly or "green." To sell products that are marketed with environmental claims on Amazon.com, you must ensure that the marketing claims you make on your product packaging and on your product detail page meet not only all federal laws such as the FTC's Guides for the Use of Environmental Marketing Claims (known as the "Green Guides"), but also all applicable state and local laws that regulate environmental claims. These laws include California's law restricting the use of compostable- and biodegradable-related claims on plastic products.

We're providing the following highlights from the FTC Green Guides and California's law on environmental claims to assist you in reviewing the environmental claims that you may make about your products. These highlights are not designed to be comprehensive. You should review the FTC Green Guides and other applicable laws, regulations, and guidelines, as you remain responsible for ensuring that the claims made about your products are fully compliant.

Highlights from the FTC Green Guides

  • Avoid broad, general claims regarding a product's environmental benefits or qualities (ex., avoid "eco-friendly" or "environmentally friendly" or "green").
  • All claims about a product's environmental benefits or qualities should be specific, and all qualifications (or limitations) to environmental claims must be specific, clear and prominently displayed (ex., "product is made from 20% recycled materials").
  • Narrowly tailor environmental claims so as not to overstate the environmental benefits or qualities.
  • Avoid making environmental claims if the environmental benefits or qualities are negligible.
  • When making comparative environmental claims, the basis for the comparison must be clearly conveyed.
  • Distinguish between products, packaging and services when making environmental claims (ex., packaging is 100% biodegradable).
  • Avoid making compostable claims without qualification if the product cannot be composted at home safely or in a timely way.
  • A general degradable or biodegradable claim should only be made if the entire product will completely break down and return to nature within a reasonably short period of time after customary disposal (or one year for solid waste products). If the product customarily ends up in landfills, incinerators, or recycling facilities, then a general biodegradable claim should not be made.
  • An environmental claim that a product or packaging is made from recycled materials should accurately reflect the portion that is made from recycled materials (ex., "made from 20% recycled materials").
  • Carefully consider certifications and seals and include the specific basis or environmental benefit for the certification whenever it is used. For questions regarding certifications, see http://ftc.gov/os/2009/10/091005revisedendorsementguides.pdf.

The FTC Green Guides also address other environmental claims, including: (1) Free-Of claims, (2) Non-Toxic claims, (3) Recyclable claims, (4) Renewable Energy claims, and (5) Renewable Materials claims. If you are making these or other environmental claims, please review the FTC Green Guides.

California Law

  • Plastic products sold into California can only be labeled as compostable, home compostable, or marine degradable if they meet the applicable ASTM standard or have the Vincotte OK Compost HOME certification. If your product meets the applicable ASTM or Vincotte standard, it should meet the additional labeling requirements as set forth by California law, and such information should be included on the product detail page.
  • Plastic products sold into California may not be labeled as biodegradable, degradable, or decomposable, or imply that the plastic product will break down or decompose.
  • Amazon will restrict the sale of plastic products labeled with these prohibited terms into California.
  • If you are a seller of a plastic product that meets the applicable ASTM or Vincotte standard, Amazon may require that you provide proof demonstrating that your plastic product meets such standards.

Additional Resources

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