Green Matter: If you talk the green talk better walk the green walk


Berlin—Bio-based plastics are better for the environment - they say. So who's 'they'? And where's the data?

The need for credible references for sustainability claims was an issue that kept coming back in many of the presentations held at the recent 6th European Bioplastics conference in Berlin - if only, as one of the speakers pointed out, because the sheer cost of bioplastics makes this crucial.

Truthful and relevant environmental claims can facilitate informed decision-making by consumers, encourage the development of 'green' goods and services and protect honest claimants from unfair competition, says the European Commission. Nonetheless, greenwashing remains a 'sin' committed by some 98% of the green products in the market. In other words, 98% of the products making environmental claims of some kind are being promoted on the basis of information that, intentionally or otherwise, is misleading, downright false, unsubstantiated, vague or irrelevant. A product claiming to be 'pure', 'natural' or 'organic' without any additional, verifiable information being provided is a good example of just how insidious this practice is. Such claims are meaningless when not backed up by publicly available facts....
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