A class action lawsuit has seen defendant Reynolds Consumer Products come under fire for messaging on its recycling bags.

Plaintiffs allege that Reynolds’s use of the claim “Recycling” on the packaging of its recycling trash bags under the Hefty and Great Value brands was misleading.

This is because “Recycling” trash bags are not recyclable or suitable for the disposal of recyclable products at solid waste disposal facilities.

The plaintiff alleged that he and other consumers “actively seek out products that are recyclable to prevent the increase in global waste and to minimise their environmental footprint”.

In addition, they relied on the defendants’ representations when they purchased the trash bags and alleged that they would not have bought the bags or paid as much for them if they had known the truth about the bags’ recyclability.

The complaint asserted claims under California’s Consumer Legal Remedies Act, Unfair Competition Law, and False Advertising Law, as well as claims of negligent misrepresentation, unjust enrichment, and fraud.

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The relief sought includes restitution, disgorgement of profits, and injunctive relief requiring a recall of products and removal of “recyclable” claims on the defendants’ website and elsewhere.

Reynolds denies all of the allegations made by the plaintiffs. The Court is set to hold a Final Approval Hearing on November 15, 2023, at 9:00AM.

Consumers who purchased the bags between July 20, 2018, and August 30, 2023, are eligible for a cash payment.

This lawsuit is one of several that Reynolds has faced in recent years, but erroneous recycling messaging on packaging is a cross-industry problem. Recently, confectionery giant Mars placed stickers warning consumers not to recycle wrappers, alongside printed recycling instructions.