Australian regulator sues Clorox over false claims on ‘ocean plastic’ bags

By Thomson Reuters Apr 17, 2024 | 11:26 PM

(Reuters) -The Australian competition regulator has taken legal action against U.S. bleach maker Clorox’s local unit for falsely claiming that a brand of its kitchen and garbage bags were partly made of recycled “ocean plastic”, it said on Thursday.

Clorox Australia has falsely represented that its GLAD-branded kitchen and garbage bags were made of 50% recycled plastic collected from an ocean or sea, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) said in a statement.

Instead, the bags were made of plastic collected from Indonesian communities based up to 50 kilometres from a shoreline and not from the ocean or sea, the regulator said.

“We are concerned that, by its alleged conduct, Clorox deprived consumers of the opportunity to make informed purchasing decisions, and may have put other businesses making genuine environmental claims at an unfair disadvantage,” ACCC Chair Gina Cass-Gottlieb said.

While both the Clorox Australia products were withdrawn from supply to retailers from July 2023, the regulator is seeking a penalty and an order to implement a compliance program, among others, from the court.

Clorox did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.

(Reporting by Roshan Thomas in Bengaluru; Editing by Mrigank Dhaniwala)