Goody bag claims put to the test by ACCC

07 Jul 2010 archivemedia

So called ‘compostable’ shopping bags widely introduced after South Australia banned plastic bags will be investigated by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) after the Rann Government failed to act on two reports exposing the bags as not compostable.

Known as ‘Goody bags’ the bags purported to be compostable and after the ban on plastic bags many retailers offered these bags to shoppers as alternatives.

Shadow Consumer Affairs Minister Michelle Lensink said despite the Rann Government promising at the time of the plastic bag ban to prohibit bags which didn’t meet the Australian standards required in order to be considered compostable, consumers have continued to be duped by the ‘Goody bags’.

“I welcome the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s (ACCC) announcement that it is taking action against the so-called goody bag but it shows Mike Rann’s environmental claims to be a complete sham,” Ms Lensink said.

“The government was warned over a year ago that there were problems with the goody bag, but it has sat on its hands.

“I wrote to the ACCC in January, providing information about why this prevalent product is misleading consumers with its environmental claims. I also provided copies of reports which refute Goody’s claim that it is compostable because it has failed several standard tests.

“I have copies of two reports which state that the bags fail to disintegrate. One test found that the ‘T-shirt bag from Goody cannot be called compostable’ and the other ‘the Goody bag failed to disintegrate, even after six weeks’.

“My letter to the ACCC formally requested that it investigate Goody’s claims based on the fact that the wording on the bag is misleading for consumers and it also provides an unfair advantage to its distributors over producers of bags which are genuinely compostable and meet the standard.”

The ACCC will use Ms Lensink’s submission as part of its Federal Court action.