ASA Adjudication on Colourful Coffins Ltd
Colourful Coffins Ltd
14 March 2012
Internet (on own site), Brochure, Magazine
Number of complaints:
A claim on the Colourful Coffins website, viewed in October 2011, stated "[we] Offer the only 100% recycled cardboard coffin on the market". On another page of the website, further text stated "our 100% recycled cardboard coffin".
Greenfield Creations Ltd challenged whether the claim "100% recycled cardboard" was misleading and could be substantiated.
CAP Code (Edition 12)
Colourful Coffins Ltd confirmed that they used BeeCore cardboard in their coffins and included a letter from their supplier which stated that the "product BeeCore as supplied to all customers consists of paper and starch glue of which the paper is made of 100% post consumer waste paper conforming to EN 643". BS EN 643 was the UK version of the European Standard EN 643, which defined grades and combinations of acceptable types of recovered fibre.
Colourful Coffins explained that the claim only related to the fact that the cardboard used in their coffins was made from 100% recycled paper and that they had not stated that the lining paper, used as part of the composition of the cardboard, was also recycled.
The ASA noted the complainant's argument that no cardboard could be described as 100% recycled because all cardboard required glue for bonding and it was unlikely that the glue used in the product was also recycled. We also noted that the outer paper used as part of the composition of the cardboard was not recycled. Whilst we did not consider that the average consumer would take bonding agents into account in their understanding of the claim "100% recycled", we did consider that as the outer edges of the cardboard were made from non-recycled paper, the claim that the coffins were made from "100% recycled cardboard" had not been substantiated.
We therefore concluded that the claim was misleading.
The claim breached CAP Code (Edition 12) rules 3.1 (Misleading advertising) and 3.7 (Substantiation).
The claim must not appear again in its current form.