SERIOUS MONDAY: FALSE CLAIMS FROM JAPANESE PAPER COMPANIES

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Misleading consumers about the amount of recycled paper in their products has had serious consequences for two Japanese companies.

Oji Paper and Nippon Paper have both seen their share prices fall dramatically and a number of retailers have said they will no longer stock their products.

Oji, the biggest paper company in Japan, had claimed that up to 50 per cent of its paper was recycled when the real total was only 5-10 per cent.

The president of Nippon Paper has resigned after admitting that it too lied about its recycled content but the boss of Oji has said he won’t step down although he has issued a statement apologising for the fact that people were misled.

It is thought that other companies could be guilty of misrepresenting the recycled content of their products and the Japanese Fair Trade Commission is looking at whether they could all be prosecuted for mis-labelling.

Ironically, Nippon Paper’s list of its ‘four ideals’ includes preserving corporate ethics and winning the trust of its customers !

As more and more of us look for products which claim recycled content, the honesty of our suppliers is likely to become a major issue – and being dishonest with the public could have devastating effects.

Susan

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