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New Zealand Gov't Creates Anti-Greenwash Website

Aug. 11, 2008 - As lawmakers in the U.S., Britain, and Canada clamp down on green advertising claims, New Zealand's ministries of commerce and environment have jointly launched a new website to help consumers judge the credibility of companies' eco-labels and other environmental marketing practices.

The online directory holds information on a variety of eco-labels, ranging from generic phrases like "eco-friendly," "biodegradable," and "clean and green," to full certification programs.

The directory also provides details on each claim such as who owns the label, its applicability, whether it meets specified standards, if it is independently audited and how frequently it is reviewed.

"Many people find it difficult to tell the difference between genuine claims and 'greenwash' untested claims that a product is eco-friendly," Commerce Minister Lianne Dalziel and Environment Minister Trevor Mallard said in a statement. "The directory will help people to judge the credibility of claims, and understand the subtle differences between different labels."

The site will also help producer and suppliers seeking to select credible eco-labels for their products and services, the ministers said.

To view the directory, click here.

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