Virginia (202) 466-6937 | Arizona (602) 388-8899

Biodegradable Plastics Claim Upheld Against FTC Challenge in Precedent Setting ECM BioFilm’s Case

Press Release:  February 6, 2015

For Immediate Release

Contact:  Jonathan W. Emord or Peter A. Arhangelsky (202-466-6937)

Washington, D.C.–On January 28, 2015, Federal Trade Commission Chief Administrative Law Judge D. Michael Chappell issued a precedent setting decision in the case of FTC v. ECM BioFilms, FTC Docket No. 9358.

In his decision, Judge Chappell held ECM’s claim that its plastics additive, ECM MasterBatch Pelletstm, causes plastics to biodegrade was supported by competent and reliable scientific evidence.  He rejected FTC’s challenge to that claim.  He also rejected FTC’s argument that the term “biodegradable” implies that a product will completely biodegrade into elements found in nature within one year after customary disposal—a position articulated in the FTC’s Green Guides industry guidance.  He upheld the FTC’s position challenging the specific rate within which ECM plastic degrades, given the unpredictable fate of plastics in the environment.  ECM BioFilms discontinued making the challenged rate claim years before the decision.  Judge Chappell refused to include any fencing-in provisions as a part of his order.

ECM BioFilms intends to abide by all terms of the order and has issued the following corporate statement:  “ECM BioFilms respects the decision of Administrative Law Judge Chappell.  We are particularly gratified that Judge Chappell determined, based on a thorough review of all scientific evidence, that ECM’s representation that its ECM MasterBatch Pelletstm cause plastics to biodegrade is supported by competent and reliable scientific evidence.  We have long since discontinued making claims concerning estimated periods within which biodegradation may occur and have no intention of making such claims in the future.”

ECM BioFilms is represented by the constitutional and administrative law firm, Emord & Associates, P.C.


Click here for a PDF version of the Press Release.

Click here to read the decision.


Whether evaluating a concept, performing regulatory due diligence, maintaining or prosecuting regulatory filings, or contesting adverse litigation, Emord & Associates provides exceptional counsel for all your litigation and regulatory needs.

Virginia (Firm HQ)

11808 Wolf Run Lane
Clifton, VA 20124
Telephone: (202) 466-6937
Telecopier: (202) 466-6938


2730 S. Val. Vista Dr.
Bldg. 6, Ste 133
Gilbert, AZ 85295
Telephone: (602) 388-8899
Telecopier: (602) 393-4361