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Comment: UK Remanufacturer supports EU proposals to combat “greenwashing”

May 2, 2023

Chris Fink, Director of ECS, a UK-based remanufacturer, supports the EU’s proposed rules to combat “greenwashing” following the recent sentencing of a North Yorkshire company for misleading advertisements.

Last month The Recycler reported that a UK cartridge seller had been fined for misleading advertising. Basically, selling reused cartridges as new. Responding to the story, Chris Fink, Director of ECS, a UK-based remanufacturer, has spoken out in support of the European Commission’s proposed rules to combat “greenwashing.” Fink believes that the recent fine imposed on the North Yorkshire company could become more common if the European Commission’s proposals are implemented, and he welcomes the change.

“As it stands, there are a large number of companies we’re aware of, both in the UK and Europe that claim to be green pioneers and remanufacturers of toner cartridges, however, this couldn’t be further from the truth. Not only this, but the number of organisations claiming to have these green reputations and solutions have risen in recent months and years as remanufactured toner cartridges and climate-safe solutions are becoming ever more popular with consumers looking to improve their bottom-line while maintaining a high level of quality and a green impression.” Fink said.

There is a widely held view that having more contributors creates a positive environmental impact and would usually be seen as a huge benefit. However, Fink strongly disagrees, commenting: “In this case, the increased number of organisations who hide behind false claims and green titles actually damages the industry further, particularly those of us who provide genuine environmentally-friendly remanufactured solutions.”

“Genuine remanufacturers suffer as a consequence through damaged reputations of the products that we supply, but so does the environment, as customers who have poor experiences with badly remanufactured toners, or ones that are falsely advertised as remanufactured tend to revert back to the use of OEM models.” Fink added.

Fink hopes that the new proposals will establish minimum norms for companies making “green claims,” requiring them to substantiate, communicate, and prove these types of claims. This will reduce the number of instances where consumers are misled, leading to more informed decisions and a reduction in the number of poorly remanufactured toners on the marketplace, enhancing the reputation of those companies who do provide genuine environmental solutions.

The company hopes that the EU’s proposals will establish minimum norms for companies making “green claims”, requiring them to substantiate, communicate and prove these types of claims will reduce the number of instances where a consumer is misled, leading to more informed decisions and a reduction in the number of poorly remanufactured toners on the marketplace, hence enhancing the reputation of those companies who do provide genuine environmental solutions.

In the UK, there is no specific anti-greenwashing legislation. Businesses falsely advertising products as ‘green’ or sustainable may be caught by existing laws, as in the case above, for misrepresentation or consumer protection laws which prevent false advertising.

EU legislation, when it is introduced, would not apply in the UK, but the UK Competition and Mergers Authority (CMA) is currently investigating how products and services claiming to be ‘eco-friendly’ are being marketed, and whether consumers could be being misled.

Categories : Around the Industry

Tags : Business Cartridges ECS Greenwashing Recycling Remanufacturing

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