Juliet Dale, sustainability advocate, was recently asked to promote a product that was made from 50% recycled plastic.
Blogger from Auckland who writes about her adventures in recycling, refusing, and reusing @thegreatecojourneyAccording to the marketing, it smelled like greenwashing.
It is still 50% virgin plastic and will end up going in landfill. However, there are still ways to use it in the first place, Dale explains.
It felt like a company trying fight the bad reputation they have in plastics.
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* How to spot fake eco products on the grocery shelves and ‘greenwashing”
Greenwashing refers to when companies and brands wave a green flag over their products and whisper a lot in consumers’ ears marketing talk, without actually doing much.
Protesters have a major problem with the cash flow from major polluters to so-called green initiatives on a large scale. November 26, COP26.
You, the customer, are trying to decide which bathroom cleaner is better for your environment and you. .
Make sure you are looking for factual information when shopping for products for your home. Sustainable Business NetworkFiona Stephenson, spokeswoman
Vague words such as natural, eco and environmentally-friendly, and imagery such as green leaves, forests, trees or animals, or even a floating green tick without anything verifiable to back it up, dont tell you very much.
Stephenson claims that it is all a bit wishy washy. They don’t tell you anything, but they suggest that the product might have sustainability, and sometimes inadvertently mislead consumers into believing something is greener than it really is.
Instead, you should look for straight-talking information and factual information.
If it says that it is 100% organic cotton, that’s great. What does it mean when something says it is a cotton mix? The blend might only contain 5 percent cotton, while the rest might be made of polyester.
Get familiar with recognized certifications such as Organic certification, BioGrow NZ, Fairtrade, Environmental choiceThese will give confidence that the product is trustworthy.
Avoid double-packing, such as an outer biodegradable box with single-use plastic bags inside. This will lead to landfill.
Only plastics that have the recycling triangle and the numbers 1, 2, and 5 can be recycled in New Zealand. Only certain soft plastics, such as film coverings or cling wraps can be recycled.
Stephenson says that just because a product claims it is recyclable, does not necessarily mean that it’s in New Zealand. This is another reason to be cautious.
According to Brianne West (sustainable advocate and founder of plastic-bottle-free beauty company), there are two keys to me. Ethique.
One is independent certifications, such as B Corp [an independent assessment lab that takes a holistic view of business sustainability]Alternatively, carbon-neutral certification.
Another is whether a business is displaying a concession-type initiative. I mean, is this just marketing? Or will it have a real impact?”
It is great to plant trees. It might not be enough if a company focuses on this, instead of looking at how it can reduce carbon production and deforestation in its supply chains.
West says that the red flag should be raised louder if a brand is focusing on limited sustainability initiatives.
Although it is definitely difficult, consumers are better educated and more aware about issues than ever.
They demand greater transparency from brands. If you don’t do actual good, you’ll be found out. West said that greenwashing is a very short-term strategy.
Honesty is a sign that organisations aren’t perfect. She says that when an organisation speaks about how great everything they do from an environment perspective, it is usually a negative sign.
There is no perfect brand. Every brand can do better. However, companies who have applied for independent accreditation will see a mark on the packaging.
Richard Shirtcliffe is the sustainability entrepreneur behind single use plastic-free cleaning brands WildCleanGreenwashing is more than unethical. It can be actively harmful.
Because companies played a major role creating this problem, they must help to fix it.
It is possible to make every effort to avoid compromises and avoid, therefore, greenwashing. Most companies don’t choose to. It is simply economics that explains why they choose not.
He said that some large companies have made small changes to distract shoppers from the larger picture, which has resulted in marginally better products.
We believe that this is not enough. Shirtcliffe states that it is not enough to make toxin-free cleaners and still sell a lot of single-use plastic containers.
The [big companies]They’ve had their fair share of time in the sunshine. It’s time to get them in touch.
Stephenson states that there is no reason for companies to not have all the information they need on their websites in order to help you make informed decisions. They have to make it easier for customers by providing accurate information on the product.
“We vote with money to a limited extent. You’re supporting a company by buying something. I encourage people to support good companies that go the extra mile.
Good businesses will grow if more people do this.
How to avoid greenwash
Do not be deceived by vaguely ‘green’ claims.
Dale says that pictures of animals, plants, and leaves can be used to make packaging appear more natural and eco-friendly. These labels are often self-created and self-declared.
Clear information about why this product is a better choice and how it compares to others should be sought. West says that if the product has a lot more generic language than substance – which you can get on a pack – it’s a red flag.
According to the Commerce Commission companies making environmental claims must be true, scientifically sound, and supported by evidence. The Commission can investigate and prosecute any violations of Fair Trade Act if consumers complain to it.
What is truly’recyclable’?
Consumer NZ recommendsChoose clear, sleeveless packaging made from plastics 1, 2, or 5 and avoid mixed material packaging. Before you buy, or even buy anything without packaging, make sure to check with your local council.
Check in and out
According to West, social media does a great job dispelling a lot greenwashing. You can also look beyond the brands and find tons of science communicators on Instagram and TikTok who can explain everything that underpins claims.
Look online to see all that you can learn about a brand’s website.
Be sure to look for credentials
There are many certification marks that are green or ethical, and it can be confusing to identify which ones are valid. The Sustainable Business NetworkThis list contains relevant marks for New Zealand.
It includes: AsureQuality. B Corp. BioGro. CoCo. Demeter. Dow Jones Sustainability Indices. Eco Warranty. Ekos. EPD Australasia. Eco Rating Label. Environmental Choice. FairClimateFund. Fairtrade. Fairtrade. FSC. Green Globe. Green Star. Green Tick. HomeFit. Hua Parakore. IFOAM. ISO 14000. Living Building Challenge. Living Wage Employer. MSC. NABERSNZ. Qualmark.
Wild Clean is a commercial partner of Stuff. Learn more about Stuff managing its business Here is the content for partnership.