CONSUMER PRODUCTS AND RETAIL E-SSENTIALS

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USA: States bills concerning microfiber shedding from clothing

may 2018 - Relevant for: softlines INDUSTRY

We had published on March 2018 an article in our E-ssential Vol. 71 on the proposed bills from the states of California and Connecticut on the requirement of warning label and appropriate washing instruction for clothing made from synthetic fibers.

Recently, status of those bills has been updated and the state of New York has become the third state to propose law on this issue.

On 26 April 2018, the California’s Assembly Bill AB 23792 was amended to extend the scope of the law to clothing made of more than 50% synthetic fibres which was previously limited to polyester fibre only. According to the amended bill a new clothing item that is covered by FTC care labelling rule 16 CFR 423 and contains more than 50% synthetic material, the statement: “This garment sheds plastic microfibers when washed.” shall be included on care label in addition to the care information and instructions required by federal law (16 CFR 423).

Additionally, the statement: “This garment sheds plastic microfibers when washed, which contributes to marine plastic pollution.” shall be included conspicuously on a sticker, hang tag, or any other label that is visible to the consumer at the point of sale.

Hats and shoes will remain exempted. This Bill will be effective on 1 January 2020 if it is passed.

The Connecticut’s Raised Bill No. 3413 requires the state to work with the representatives of the apparel industry and the environmental community to develop a consumer awareness and education program. This bill has been amended (LCO 4411)4 focusing on development of program about microfiber pollution, rather than microfibers in clothing. The amendment also added one additional industry representative “Outdoor Industry Association” making total eight industry representatives in the working group. The energy and environmental protection commissioner, in consultation with the consumer protection commissioner shall convene a working group to develop the consumer awareness and education program about synthetic microfiber pollution by 1 July 2018 and must report to the Environment Committee by January 1, 2019.

The State of New York has recently proposed Assembly Bill A105995 which requires new clothing item that is covered by FTC care labelling rule 16 CFR 423 and contains more than 50% synthetic material to be labelled as per below:

On Care Label

a. For clothing with machine washing or hand washing: "This garment sheds plastic microfibers when washed. Hand washing recommended to reduce shedding."

b. For other: "This garment sheds plastic microfibers when washed."

On sticker, hang tag, or any other label

a. For clothing with machine washing or hand washing: "This garment sheds plastic microfibers when washed, which contributes to marine plastic pollution. Hand washing recommended to reduce shedding."
b. For clothing with dry cleaning: "This garment sheds plastic microfibers when washed, which contributes to marine plastic pollution. Dry clean only.”
c. For all other clothing: "This garment sheds plastic microfibers when washed, which contributes to marine plastic pollution."

This Bill shall take effect immediately if it is passed.

Note: Plastic microfiber means a small synthetic particle that is fibrous in shape, less than 5 millimeters in length, and is released into water through the regular washing of textiles made from synthetic material.

[1] E-ssentials 7 | 2018
[2] California’s Assembly Bill AB 2379 
[3] Connecticut’s Raised Bill No. 341 
[4] Amendment of Connecticut’s Raised Bill No. 341 by Senate (LCO 4411)
[5] New York Assembly Bill A10599

 

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