Caution urged on use of life-cycle analyses in product claims

Procter & Gamble has been rapped on the knuckles by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) over a claim that disposable nappies cause no more damage to the environment than reusable nappies. The ruling is a vital one on the use of life-cycle analyses (LCAs) in product promotions, although the ASA was happy to accept the results of another LCA prepared by P&G in a similar case on aerosols.

The ASA's ruling was made in response to a complaint by the Women's Environmental Network (WEN) about P&G's leaflet advertisements which claimed that "studies undertaken in Europe and the US reveal that there is little difference in overall environmental impact between paper and cloth nappies."

This "environmental equivalence" claim was hotly contested by WEN, which claimed that two LCAs commissioned by P&G had been biased in favo

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