Advertising Standards Agency rules that claims that plastic grass was recyclable were false

The artificial grass product that was described as recyclable because of its PP backing, but which the ASA said wasn't

The Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) has ruled that claims by a plastic grass company that its product was recyclable were false.

A tweet in May 2022 from artificial grass supplier Perfectly Green claimed that its Soul Eco-grass product was recyclable.


But following a complaint by environmental pressure group Plastics Rebellion, the ASA ruled that this was not the case.

Plastics Rebellion had challenged whether:

1. the claim that the product was recyclable was misleading, because they understood that the “PP backing” referred to the material polypropylene, which complicated the recycling process; and

2. the name “Soul Eco-grass” misleadingly implied that the product was eco-friendly, because they believed artificial grass was damaging to the environment.

On the first point, Perfectly Green responded that the product was manufactured from a grass layer of polyethylene and a backing of polypropylene. They argued that therefore the product could be recycled using pyrolysis and cracking (essentially chemical recycling).

They also said that PP wasn’t a typical backing for artificial grass, as typically latex or polyurethane backings were used. They had also been told by the producer of the product that PE and PP did not need to be separated when recycled.

Perfectly Green acknowledged that consumers did not have access to recycling plants suitable for the product, but they expected them to be available in future. Therefore, they said their understanding was that the product was fully recyclable.

On the second point, Perfectly Green said they could call it Eco-grass as it could be used instead of concrete, decking, patio slabs or other artificial surfaces. They also noted that it did not require watering, require upkeep with chemical fertilisers or herbicides and did not need to be mowed. However, they informed the ASA that they would remove the name Eco-grass from the product and would not use it in future marketing campaigns.

However, the ASA upheld both complaints that the advert was misleading.

On the first point, the ASA ruling said: “In the absence of any qualifications noting the difficulties posed to the recycling of the product due to its mixed composition, and the lack of existing UK infrastructure to process it once it had reached the end of its life cycle, we concluded that the ad was misleading.”

While on the second point, the ASA added: “We acknowledged Perfectly Green’s comments that they believed the lack of watering, or need for upkeep with potentially chemical-based products or lawnmowers, meant that the product was environmentally friendly.

“However, because the extraction of raw materials and subsequent processing of those materials in order to produce artificial grass had a negative impact on the environment, we did not consider that the product had a positive environmental impact across its full life cycle. We also did not consider that the potential uses of the product highlighted by Perfectly Green were relevant to the environmental impact it had, and considered that in some circumstances the product would be used to replace real grass, thereby having a detrimental impact on biodiversity.

“Because we considered that the ad would be understood by consumers to mean that Soul Eco-grass was environmentally friendly, and because we had seen no evidence regarding the environmental impact over the course of the full life cycle of the product, we concluded that the ad was misleading.”

ASA has told Perfectly Green that marketing communications should not mislead on recyclability in future and should not imply that their products are environmentally friendly if that is not the case.