A judge has ruled that ECM BioFilms’ biodegradable plastics claim is supported by scientific evidence.
In his Jan. 28 decision, Federal Trade Commission chief administrative law judge D. Michael Chappell rejected the FTC’s challenge to ECM’s claim that its plastics additive, ECM MasterBatch Pellets, causes plastics to biodegrade.
He also rejected the commission’s argument that the term “biodegradable” implies that a product will completely biodegrade into elements found in nature within one year after customary disposal. He upheld the FTC’s position challenging the specific rate within which ECM plastic degrades, given the unpredictable fate of plastics in the environment.
ECM BioFilms discontinued making the challenged rate claim before the decision.
In a statement, the company said it is “gratified” that the judge determined its environmental claim — that its plastics additive causes plastics to biodegrade — “is supported by competent and reliable scientific evidence. We have long since discontinued making claims concerning estimated periods within which biodegradation may occur and have no intention of making such claims in the future.”