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Need to Know

Amazon to Pay $1.5M for ‘Misleading’ Plastic Labels

A lawsuit by 23 counties in California alleges Amazon deceived consumers by labeling advertised and sold plastic products as “biodegradable.”

Amazon has agreed to pay $1.5 million in a California consumer protection lawsuit that alleges Amazon advertised and sold plastic products that were misleadingly labeled as “biodegradable” or “compostable.”

The settlement involves district attorney’s (DA) offices in 23 California counties. According to the suit, the district attorney’s offices contends that it could take hundreds of years for plastic to decompose in typical landfill conditions.

The DA’s offices also argue that because biodegradability claims are inherently misleading, California law imposes an outright ban on the sale of plastics labeled “biodegradable.”

"Over the past several years Amazon has already voluntarily been in compliance with these laws, and we are pleased to bring this issue to a mutually satisfactory conclusion with the District Attorneys," said an Amazon spokesperson.

Napa Valley Patch has more:

com has agreed to pay $1.5 million in civil penalties and investigative costs in a settlement with district attorney's offices in 23 California counties. The settlement resolves a consumer protection lawsuit filed by the counties against Amazon, alleging the company advertised and sold plastic products in California that were misleadingly labeled as "biodegradable" or "compostable" in violation of California law.

Many Californians are willing to pay a premium for products based on these claims, Napa County District Attorney Allison Haley said in a statement Wednesday about the outcome of the suit.

In addition to Napa, counties involved in bringing the court action against the mail-order giant included: Alameda, Butte, Calaveras, Colusa, El Dorado, Fresno, Humboldt, Lake, Madera, Merced, Monterey, Sacramento, Santa Barbara, Santa Cruz, Shasta, Solano, Sonoma, Stanislaus, Sutter, Tehama, Tuolumne and Yuba.

Read the full article here.

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