• Moo claimed that its yoghurt tubs were made from 100 per cent ocean plastic.
    Moo claimed that its yoghurt tubs were made from 100 per cent ocean plastic.

The ACCC has accepted a court-enforceable undertaking from yoghurt manufacturer Moo Premium Foods Pty Ltd (Moo) following an investigation into Moo’s ‘100 per cent ocean plastic’ representations on its yoghurt packaging, website, and social media pages.

Moo co-operated with the ACCC’s investigation to resolve the matter and has removed the ‘ocean plastic’ representations from its yoghurt packaging, social media platforms, and website. 

Its packaging has now been updated to read ‘100 per cent ocean bound plastic’

Between at least November 2021 and the date of the undertaking, Moo claimed that its yoghurt tubs were made from ‘100 per cent ocean plastic’, which the ACCC was concerned gave the impression they were made from plastic waste collected directly from the ocean – which was not the case.

While Moo included disclaimers on the top and back of the packaging, the ACCC considered they were insufficient to overcome the headline representation of ‘100 per cent ocean plastic’.

Moo has admitted in the undertaking it has given to the ACCC that the ‘100 per cent ocean plastic’ representations likely contravened the Australian Consumer Law, which prohibits false or misleading representations.

ACCC commissioner Liza Carver said the investigation had revealed that the plastic resin used in the manufacture of Moo’s yoghurt packaging was collected from coastal areas in Malaysia, and not directly from the ocean.

“Making false statements about a product’s environmental or sustainability qualities can mislead consumers, as well as putting the businesses making genuine claims at a competitive disadvantage.

An example of the updated packaging MOO will use following an investigation by ACCC.
An example of the updated packaging Moo will use following the investigation by the ACCC.

“It is important that environmental and sustainability claims by businesses are correct as they are a key influence on consumer choices and what people spend their money on,” said Carver.

In the court-enforceable undertaking provided to the ACCC, Moo has committed to conducting internal audits of the ‘ocean bound plastic’ resin used in their packaging, as well as implementing an Australian Consumer Law compliance program.

As part of its 2023-24 compliance and enforcement priorities, the ACCC is prioritising consumer, product safety, fair trading and competition concerns in relation to environmental and sustainability claims.

In July, the ACCC released its draft guidance to improve the integrity of environmental claims made by businesses.

“Businesses must ensure any environmental claims made are accurate and truthful, and this includes taking reasonable steps to verify supporting information provided to businesses by suppliers.

“This enforcement outcome against Moo is a reminder of the importance for businesses to regularly review any environmental or sustainability claims about their products to ensure they are correct and up to date,” said Carver.

A copy of the undertaking is available here.

Packaging News

The ACCC has instituted court proceedings against Clorox Australia, owner of GLAD-branded kitchen and garbage bags, over alleged false claims that bags were partly made of recycled 'ocean plastic'.

In news that is disappointing but not surprising given the recent reports on the unfolding Qenos saga, the new owner of Qenos has placed the company into voluntary administration. The closure of the Qenos Botany facility has also been confirmed.

An agreement struck between Cleanaway and Viva Energy will see the two companies undertake a prefeasibility assessment of a circular solution for soft plastics and other hard-to-recycle plastics.