NEW YORK (AP) – Walmart and Kohl’s are together paying $5.5 million in settlements after the Federal Trade Commission says they falsely marketed dozens of eco-friendly bamboo sheets and other home textile products. environment, when they were actually rayon.
Kohl’s agreed to pay $2.5 million and Walmart will pay $3 million in the settlements, which stemmed from an FTC complaint that also included allegations of misleading environmental claims. Companies have touted “bamboo” textiles as being made in an environmentally friendly way, the commission said on Friday.
Rayon is a synthetic fiber made with plant cellulose, including bamboo, but the FTC noted that the process “requires the use of toxic chemicals and results in dangerous pollutants.”
The FTC said the two retailers marketed some of the “bamboo-derived” products as offering general environmental benefits, such as being produced “without harmful chemicals, using clean, non-toxic materials.”
“False environmental claims hurt both honest consumers and businesses, and companies that greenwash can expect to pay the price,” said Samuel Levine, director of the FTC’s Consumer Protection Bureau, in a statement. a statement.
Both retailers have been prohibited from making misleading green claims or using other deceptive advertising, the FTC said.
Kohl’s, based in Menomonee Falls, Wis., and Walmart each marketed at least two dozen bamboo items in product titles and descriptions for several years, the FTC said.
Bentonville, Arkansas-based Walmart said it takes the complaints seriously.
“We hold ourselves accountable when issues like this are raised,” said Randy Hargrove, a spokesperson for Walmart. “We have worked to strengthen our product description programs and expect our suppliers to provide products that comply with all laws, including those relating to labeling. “
Kohl’s also continues to take labeling regulations “seriously.”
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