What is ‘Greenwashing?’
The act of misleading consumers regarding the environmental benefits of products or services. The most common ‘Greenwashing’ that occurs is indicating to consumers that an item is ‘environmentally-friendly’ by displaying ‘BIODEGRADABLE’ on the product.
If an item is ‘Biodegradable,’ it will decompose, but the length of time it will take for this item to fully break down is not specified – A plastic fork might have biodegradable written on it, but how long will it take?? It could take 1000 years – is that really as environmentally friendly as it is eluding to?
Why the term ‘BIODEGRADABLE’ is often misleading:
If an item is ‘Biodegradable’ it does not always mean ‘eco-friendly.’
It does not specify the length of time it will take an item
to fully biodegrade.
It does not specify the conditions in which the item will biodegrade .
Compostable means that an item will turn into nutrient-rich soil within a 180-day timeline. The soil that is produced helps to grow the plants which new products can be made from. THIS CREATES A CLOSED LOOP SYSTEM
- Be cautious of items labeled BIODEGRADABLE, unless the disposal environment and timeframe for decomposition are also specified.
- Look for products specifically labeled ‘COMPOSTABLE,’ as compostability strictly defines the environment, biodegradation timeframe and additional criteria such as disintegration & toxicity.
- Look for products that are ‘Certified Compostable.’
Everything that is compostable is biodegradable, but not everything that is biodegradable is compostable!
Some products will claim to be BIODEGRADABLE, but if their product is not certified compostable, there is no evidence that the product will actually biodegrade in the conditions it will be disposed.
Knowledge is power!