Kroger “Compostable” Plates and Bowls California Class Action

This class action brings suit against the Kroger Company for a line of disposable plates and bowls, which Kroger markets as being compostable. The complaint alleges that they are not in fact compostable because they contain certain materials (PFAS) which do not break down and blend into the soil. On the contrary, the complaint says they contaminate any soil to which they are added, as well as any plants grown on that land or any livestock who graze there.

The class for this action is all persons who bought the products at issue in California during the applicable statute of limitations period.

The complaint defines a compostable item as “one that will entirely break down into usable compost.” According to the complaint, however, the Kroger plates and bowls will not, because they contain “significant amounts of perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances, also known as PFAS.

The complaint says, “PFAS are known as forever chemicals because they do not break down over time.” They can therefore never “become part of usable compost.”

“Compost is used as soil-conditioning material or fertilizer,” the complaint says. When they are applied to soil, “they seep into and contaminate both land and water and then never leave. Once introduced into soil, PFAS contaminate crops grown in the soil and meat farmed from animals that graze there.”

Consumers seek out products that are environmentally friendly these days, including items that can be composted and added to soil rather than put into landfills. The complaint says, “These consumers are willing to pay more for such products, which often cost significantly more than non-compostable alternative products.” In fact, the complaint claims, the plates and bowls at issue do cost more than non-compostable plates and bowls.

Also, under California state law, it is “unlawful for any person to make any untruthful, deceptive, or misleading environmental marketing claim, whether explicit or implied.” In this context, an “environmental marketing claim” “includes any claim contained in the Guides for use Environmental Marketing Claims published by the Federal Trade Commission (the ‘Green Guides’).”

The complaint goes on to say, “Under the Green Guides, ‘[i]t is deceptive to misrepresent, directly or by implication, that a product or package is compostable.’” The complaint quotes this as part of the Code of Federal Regulations, as well as this: “A marketer claiming that an item is compostable should have competent and reliable scientific evidence that all the materials in the item will break down into, or otherwise become part of, usable compost … in a safe and timely manner … in an appropriate composting facility…”

Article Type: Lawsuit
Topic: Consumer

Most Recent Case Event

Kroger “Compostable” Plates and Bowls California Complaint

June 16, 2020

This class action brings suit against the Kroger Company for a line of disposable plates and bowls, which Kroger markets as being compostable. The complaint alleges that they are not in fact compostable because they contain certain materials (PFAS) which do not break down and blend into the soil. On the contrary, the complaint says they contaminate any soil to which they are added, as well as any plants grown on that land or any livestock who graze there.

Kroger “Compostable” Plates and Bowls California Complaint

Case Event History

Kroger “Compostable” Plates and Bowls California Complaint

June 16, 2020

This class action brings suit against the Kroger Company for a line of disposable plates and bowls, which Kroger markets as being compostable. The complaint alleges that they are not in fact compostable because they contain certain materials (PFAS) which do not break down and blend into the soil. On the contrary, the complaint says they contaminate any soil to which they are added, as well as any plants grown on that land or any livestock who graze there.

Kroger “Compostable” Plates and Bowls California Complaint
Tags: Breach of warranty, Deceptive Advertising, Deceptive Labels, Item Does Not Do What It Is Advertised to Do