Ashley Lorance

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Consumers are conscious of their ability to impact the environment through their spending power. As buying “green” has become increasingly mainstream, greenwashing, or the practice of companies disingenuously spinning their products as environmentally friendly, has become a problem. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC), in its Green Guides, takes on the problem of greenwashing. However, its enforcement of violations of the Guides has been minimal. This paper will assess the current U.S. response to greenwashing in general, and specifically, FTC enforcement of the Green Guides. Based on this assessment, the paper will make proposals for the FTC to strengthen enforcement of greenwashing violations, including the adoption of international standards into the Green Guides and the provision of citizen suit enforcement of Section 5 of the Federal Trade Commission Act.


2010 NYSBA Professor William R. Ginsberg Memorial Essay Contest award-winning paper

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