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Three companies sued for false water bottle advertisements

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The California attorney general's office has sued three companies for misleading consumers by claiming its plastic water bottles were biodegradable, The Los Angeles Times reports.

In the first governmental action enforcing the state's environmental marketing laws, prosecutors accused Mesa, Arizona-based ENSO Plastics of falsely stating its plastic bottles would degrade within five years and leave no traces of harmful materials to the environment.

"Californians are committed to recycling and protecting the environment, but these efforts are undermined by the false and misleading claims these companies make when they wrongly advertise their products as biodegradable," Attorney General Kamala Harris said in a statement.

Environmental protection agencies have opposed the use of plastics for a long time. Plastics normally end up in the trash after one use and even if recycled, they can only be used a handful of times before the material degrades into the atmosphere - which is costly to the environment and to local governments paying for cleanup crews.

Upon incurring a hefty fine for false advertising, errors and omissions insurance can help a company pay legal costs.

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