Here's another case of a company changing a less-than-perfect behavior on its own just as I was starting to get a bee in my bonnet about it: We've been happily using gDiapers, which I've blogged about before, for six months now, but the other week, I noticed that the plastic packaging used for the product's flushable inserts had some misleading text on it. It said, "This Bag Is 100% Recyclable."
Um, no it's not.
Even in San Francisco's single-stream recycling system, plastic bags and films are a big no-no. And while some grocery stores accept plastic bags for recycling, the all-encompassing language in the gDiapers text was probably causing well-meaning but clueless parents to throw the bags into their curbside bins and gum up the machinery.
So I wrote gDiapers and asked what was going on. I pointed out that (as I blogged about in a recent post) the FTC's "Guides for the Use of Environmental Marketing Claims" consider calling plastic garbage bags recyclable to be a deceptive claim.
I got a nice reply from gDiapers acknowledging that yes, #4 plastic are tricky and are generally not intended for curbside programs. The statement also explained that the company knows plastic bags are not ideal from an environmental standpoint and is actively searching for a cost-effective compostable alternative that can stand up to the elements.
Meanwhile, the copy on the packaging changed! (I don't claim to take any credit for it, but what a coincidence!) It now reads, "For a happy planet, please recycle in communities where available." Much better.