• Thu. May 23rd, 2024

Greenwashing investigated

The British Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has ruled that advertising by synthetic turf installing company Evergreens UK was misleading and unsubstantiated.

Evergreens UK had claimed that its products were ‘eco-friendly’ and ‘purified’ the atmosphere.

Although the company operates in the market for landscaping products, claims like those that Evergreens UK made are not uncommon in this industry too.

The ASA was asked to examine three adverts for Evergreens’ AIR range, which the company says has been treated with a product called PURETi, a titanium dioxide (TiO2)-containing, water-based, photocatalytic surface treatment. PURETi is used in some synthetic turf products for sports too.

The brand claimed in promotional material that the range was eco friendly and that as a result of the treatment the grass was “capable of reducing up to 70% of harmful NOx” from the air.

One advert claimed that “1m2 of AIR-treated grass is comparable to the air-purifying effects of one mature tree”.

The ASA examined the evidence put forward by the company, which included a brochure for synthetic grass sports pitches with excerpts from a laboratory report. It concluded the observed reduction in NOx was significantly below the 70% reduction claimed in the ads. It found the claims in both cases were not substantiated and were misleading.

The advertising body said the evidence put forward did not take into account the full lifecycle of the product.

“The synthetic turf was made from plastic,” the ASA said. “We considered that, even if it was transported efficiently and recycled at the end of its lifecycle, the extraction of raw materials and subsequent processing of those materials in order to produce the artificial grass had a negative impact on the environment.”

Guy Oldenkotte

Guy Oldenkotte is senior editor of sportsfields.info and has been covering the outdoor sportssurfaces market and industry since 2003

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