Find us elsewhere

Contact Us on +27 11 781 2006

More Contact Details

Appendix JEnviroment claims

1. General

This Appendix is supplementary to the general provisions of the Code. Special care should be taken by advertisers to ensure that the spirit as well as the letter of the provisions of the whole Code are scrupulously observed.
1.2 In this Appendix:
"Environmental claim” means any direct or indirect claim, representation, reference or indication in an advertisement relating to the immediate or future impact or influence on the environment of a product or its packaging or a service.
Unless the context otherwise requires, a reference to the product is deemed to include reference to any packaging in which the product or any of its components are or were at any time contained.
All environmental claims and statements made in adver-tising should provide accurate information, meaningful to the consumer and based on recognised scientific stan-dards and principles.
Advertisements should not contain vague, incomplete or irrelevant statements about environmental matters, nor should it impair public confidence in the efforts made by the business community to improve its ecological stan-dards.
2. Absolute claims and statements

Advertisements containing unqualified claims and statements about environmental matters will be interpreted as meaning "100%”, and shall be subject to substantiation.
The same principle will apply to descriptions such as ". . . free” or "contains no . . .” which will be assumed to claim total ab-sence of the stated substance.
Corporate claims in advertising may refer to specific products or actions, but may not imply that they extend to the company's performance functions as a whole, unless this can be substantiated.
Advertisements should clearly indicate whether the claims made relate to the products or packaging, and in the absence of such indication shall be considered to be referring to both.
Advertisements containing general statements such as "environ-mentally friendly” or "ozone friendly” or "green”, or graphics or symbols designed to convey a similar environmental message, will not be permitted unless qualified by a description of the benefit conferred, eg "ozone friendly – free from CFC's”.
Environmental signs or symbols used in advertising should clearly indicate their source and should not imply official approval.
3. Recyclable
Advertisements may not by using the Mobius Loop symbol or in any other way claim that the product is recyclable, merely because it is technically capable of being recycled, unless facilities, which are rea-sonably accessible, exist for collection and recycling.
4. Degradable
No advertisement may make claims for the degradability of the packaging material unless the claim can be substantiated.
Advertising claims about the degradability of products disposed of through the sewage systems may only be made if the by-products of degradation and the product in question do not con-tain substances which are known to be damaging either to the environment or the sewage collection and treatment facilities.
5. Ozone friendly
No product or packaging may claim to be "ozone friendly” if at any point in its manufacture, packaging, use or degradation it uses or is likely to emit chlorofluorocarbons.
Advertisements which claim to indicate in any other way that a product does not contain any substance which will or may have an adverse or detrimental effect on the ozonosphere ("ozone layer”) shall not be acceptable unless the ASA is satisfied that the product falls within the class of product–
in which choloroflorocarbons ("freons”) are or have in the past commonly been used as inert dispensing agents or as solvents or refrigerants; or
5.2.2 which is generally perceived by the consumer public as being a product which contains such substances.

ad library

The online library of the Advertising Standards Authority of South Africa gives you access to a searchable database of ASA rulings.

register for membership