The ACCC has a court-enforceable undertaking from MOO Premium Foods Pty Ltd (MOO) following an inquiry into the company's assertions of '100% ocean plastic' on its yoghurt packaging, website, and social media channels. From at least November 2021 until the court-enforceable undertaking was made, MOO asserted that its yoghurt containers were crafted entirely from '100% ocean plastic,' a representation that raised concerns at the ACCC as it could mislead consumers into thinking the plastic was sourced directly from the ocean, which was not the case. Despite disclaimers on the packaging, the ACCC deemed them insufficient to counteract the prominent claim of '100% ocean plastic.'
In the court-enforceable undertaking made to the ACCC, MOO acknowledged that the '100% ocean plastic' representations likely violated the Australian Consumer Law, which prohibits deceptive or false representations. The ACCC's investigation revealed that the plastic resin used in MOO's yoghurt packaging was sourced from coastal areas in Malaysia, not directly from the ocean. ACCC Commissioner Liza Carver emphasised the potential for false statements about a product's environmental aspects to mislead consumers and disadvantage businesses making genuine claims.
MOO collaborated with the ACCC during the investigation, swiftly resolving the issue. The company pledged to remove the 'ocean plastic' claims from its yoghurt packaging, social media platforms, and website. Additionally, MOO committed to publishing corrective notices on its website and social media channels. The legally binding commitment also includes internal audits of the 'ocean-bound plastic' resin used in their packaging and the implementation of an Australian Consumer Law compliance program.
As part of its 2023-24 priorities, the ACCC is focusing on consumer protection, product safety, fair trading, and competition issues related to environmental and sustainability claims. ACCC Commissioner, Liz Carver emphasised that businesses must ensure the accuracy of any environmental claims, taking reasonable steps to verify information provided by suppliers. The enforcement action against MOO serves as a reminder for businesses to regularly review their environmental or sustainability claims to ensure accuracy and relevance.