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National Advertising Division Finds Certain Compostability Claims for HoldOn Bags Supported; Recommends Others be Modified or Discontinued

New York, NY – May 16, 2024 – In a challenge brought by The Glad Products Company, BBB National Programs’ National Advertising Division determined that HoldOn Bags Inc. has a reasonable basis to claim that its trash bags break down in compost environments.

However, the National Advertising Division (NAD) recommended that other challenged claims either be discontinued or modified to:

  • Clearly and conspicuously disclose the circumstances in which the bag would degrade, compost, or “break down.”
  • Avoid conveying messages of general environmental benefits.
  • Avoid conveying the message that HoldOn bags are not plastic.

HoldOn is a provider of trash bags certified by the Biodegradable Products Institute, Inc. (BPI) and TÜV Austria as compostable in commercial and home composting settings.

In support of its claims that HoldOn bags break down in compost facilities, the advertiser presented evidence through an expert in the field of compostable plastics and certifications from BPI and TÜV Austria that indicated the bag’s suitability for composting in both commercial and home composting environments.

NAD found that the evidence provided a reasonable basis for HoldOn to make claims that its bags break down in composting environments but did not support claims that the bags would break down in non-composting environments, such as landfills. NAD also found that the evidence was insufficient to support claims of general environmental benefits. NAD recommended that HoldOn’s claims conveying messages of environmental benefits be discontinued or modified to be limited to the bag’s ability to degrade in composting environments.

NAD also found that some HoldOn advertisements conveyed messages that its bags are not plastic, however, no evidence in the record supported that message. NAD recommended HoldOn discontinue or modify its claims to avoid conveying the message that its bags are not plastic.

In its advertiser statement, HoldOn stated that it will comply with NAD’s decision although it disagrees with certain aspects of it.

All BBB National Programs case decision summaries can be found in the case decision library. For the full text of NAD, NARB, and CARU decisions, subscribe to the online archive. This press release shall not be used for advertising or promotional purposes.

About BBB National Programs: BBB National Programs, a non-profit organization, is the home of U.S. independent industry self-regulation, currently operating more than a dozen globally recognized programs that have been helping enhance consumer trust in business for more than 50 years. These programs provide third-party accountability and dispute resolution services that address existing and emerging industry issues, create a fairer playing field for businesses, and a better experience for consumers. BBB National Programs continues to evolve its work and grow its impact by providing business guidance and fostering best practices in arenas such as advertising, child-and-teen-directed marketing, data privacy, dispute resolution, automobile warranty, technology, and emerging areas. To learn more, visit bbbprograms.org.

About the National Advertising Division: The National Advertising Division of BBB National Programs provides independent self-regulation and dispute resolution services, guiding the truthfulness of advertising across the U.S. The National Advertising Division reviews national advertising in all media and its decisions set consistent standards for advertising truth and accuracy, delivering meaningful protection to consumers and leveling the playing field for business.

Jennie Rosenberg
Media Relations
BBB National Programs
[email protected]