Published: 01 December 2023  (Updated: 01 December 2023)

ASA Research on Green Disposal Claims

ASA published research on consumer understanding of green disposal terms.

On 28 November 2023, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) published the findings of research they have conducted on consumer understanding of green disposal terms such as 'recyclable', 'biodegradable' and 'compostable'.  The ASA conducted 60 in-depth interviews with a range of consumers across the UK to gather the data included in the report.

The key findings included:

  • Consumers generally believe advertising is highly monitored and regulated in the UK, and assume brands are unable to make environmental claims without evidence and verification.
  • Consumers perceive green disposal at home as a manageable way to contribute to less damaging practices for the environment.
  • Additional requirements placed around disposal, for example any disposal instructions that are outside of the home, are treated not just as an inconvenience, but as a breaking of an unspoken agreement, where manufacturers play their part (making items seamlessly disposable) and the consumer plays theirs (home disposal).
  • The terms ‘compostable’ and ‘biodegradable’ are not as well understood to consumers as claims such as ‘recyclable’, and are often confused with one another.

Access the full report here.

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