The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) is tightening its grip on supermarkets over fears of increasing greenwashing claims of food and drink items.
The CMA’s investigation into greenwashing claims is shifting its focus to the fmcg sector after taking on big fashion retailers last year including Asos, Boohoo and George at Asda.
The watchdog said it would “examine the accuracy of ‘green’ claims made about household essentials” such as food, toothpaste and laundry detergent “to make sure shoppers are not being misled”.
The move comes as an increasing number of household items including food and drink, cleaning products and toiletries are marketed as eco-friendly – including up to 91% of all dishwashing items and the vast majority of toilet products, the CMA said.
“Our work to date has shown there could be greenwashing going on in this sector, and we’ll be scrutinising companies big and small to see whether their environmental claims stack up,” said CMA’s CEO Sarah Cardell.
“These products are the essentials on everyone’s shopping lists: food and drink, shampoo, laundry detergent, toothpaste, cleaning products.
“We’re concerned many shoppers are being misled and potentially even paying a premium for products that aren’t what they seem, especially at a time when the cost of living continues to rise.”
Cardell warned businesses now was “a good time” for them to review their practices and “make sure they’re operating within the law”.