SEOUL, Feb. 15 (Korea Bizwire) – The government has ruled that clear and objective expressions are mandatory for indicating and advertising products as being environment-friendly.
The Ministry of Environment announced on February 14 that it will enact the “Notification on Management System of Indication and Advertisement about Environment Impact” and adopt the measure on February 15 to strictly manage labeling and advertisements related to the environmental impact of products.
Environmental impact refers to the effect of products on the environment, such as the level of emissions of pollutants and greenhouse gases in the entire process of manufacturing, consuming, and discarding the materials and products, and the level of consumption of resources and energy.
This new legislation includes many concrete principles to protect consumers from being deceived or misled by requiring that labels and advertising related to environmental impact be clearly expressed based on facts.
This applies to fine print that cannot be read easily, which might result in consumers being deceived. The guidelines require that environmental information be clearly stated as accurately as possible in places where it can be detected without effort.
The same goes for explanations of products being mentioned. If only the packaging can be recycled, the product can’t just simply be indicated or advertised as “recyclable”, as the consumer might be mistakenly informed that the content in the packaging is also recyclable. Therefore, a distinction must be made to indicate that the product uses recyclable plastic packaging.
Other strict ground rules will also be enforced. For example, being legally obligated to comply with certain standards should not be falsely expressed as having voluntarily improved a product’s environmental impact. Information contained in labeling and advertising should be based on exclusively on scientific facts.
For companies that violate the new laws, fines will vary (from 0.1 to 2 percent of sales) according to the gravity of the violation; additional adjustments of up to 30 percent will be made according to the period of violation; and additional adjustments not exceeding 50 percent will be added according to the number of violations.
By Lina Jang (firstname.lastname@example.org)