Plastic-bottle purveyors in hot water

California sues companies for misleading labels on water bottles

California filed a lawsuit against three companies for making false claims that their water bottles are biodegradable.

In late October, California Attorney General Kamala D. Harris filed suit in Orange County Superior Court against ENSO Plastics LLC of Mesa, Arizona; Balance Water of West Orange, New Jersey; and AquaMantra of Dana Point, California, according to media sources. Balance Water and AquaMantra use ENSO plastic water bottles for their products.

The lawsuit takes issue with ENSO bottles that are misleadingly marked “100 percent biodegradable and recyclable,” when the bottles would actually take thousands of years to break down naturally. In 2008, California passed a law prohibiting the labeling of plastic bags, bottles and food containers as “biodegradable,” “degradable” or “compostable.” Earlier this year, Gov. Jerry Brown signed the Truthful Environmental Advertising in Plastics bill—SB 567—that will expand the prohibition to all plastic products beginning in 2013.