California has filed a lawsuit against three bottle companies, alleging false claims that the bottles biodegrade.
Attorney General Kamala Harris filed suit in Orange County Superior Court against bottled water companies Aquamantra and Balance Water, and bottle maker ENSO Plastics.
The suit alleges that the claims are false and their use violates California law. It calls for the bottles to be pulled from shelves.
"The manufacturers of these bottles are taking advantage of Californians' concern for their environment," Harris said in a news release. "Consumers are led to believe they are being environmentally friendly by choosing these bottles. In fact, they could be further damaging our natural resources."
In a statement ENSO Plastics said it couldn’t comment on the details of the lawsuit because it hasn’t had the opportunity to read it. However, President Danny Clark said, “We stand behind our technology and the claims that our company makes in stating that standard plastics enhanced with our biodegradable additive are fully recyclable and if placed in an environment with microbes, will naturally biodegrade.
“ENSO Plastics has all intentions of working with the California Attorney General to comply with the labeling law.”
The environmental advocacy group Californians Against Waste supported the lawsuit. “These falsely labeled bottles pose several serious problems,” said Mark Murray, executive director for the group. “Consumers are being deceived. The chemicals added to these bottles to theoretically allow them to break apart have zero environmental benefit. They simply cost consumers more and fill up our landfills just like any other bottle.”