April 3, 2024

Greenwashing: How to Spot It and Stop It

In recent times, you might've noticed the terms 'eco-friendly' and 'green' being thrown around a lot. But here's the kicker: many companies are misusing these terms in what's known as 'greenwashing.' Companies are leveraging the fact that most consumers do not take the time to research the products and services that they use, and instead have blind faith in the companies they are buying from. Companies and businesses exploit consumer trust, and use ‘greenwashing’ to make more money from environmentally conscious customers. Essentially, greenwashing takes place when advertising or marketing efforts convince the public that the organization’s products, policies, or services are more environmentally friendly than they are. 

Various tactics are employed in greenwashing, ranging from vague assertions about environmental efforts to outright false claims. For instance, an organization might boast about plans to reduce emissions without any concrete strategies in place. Additionally, some companies strategically highlight one eco-friendly aspect of their operations while ignoring less sustainable practices. Misleading labels such as "green" or "eco-friendly" further contribute to this deceptive practice, as these terms lack standardized definitions and oversight. Greenwashing is visible across all industries,  from the grocery store to popular clothing brands. 

So, how can consumers identify and avoid falling for greenwashing? Take the time to look into the products you buy and don't just trust the ‘eco-friendly’ labels. Many products that are being falsely marketed as ‘green’ use images of nature or the environment and implement green logos and symbols to convince consumers at first glance of their eco-friendliness.  Additionally, consider the whole lifecycle of the product – from where the materials are sourced to how you dispose of it. And support companies that are open and honest about their environmental efforts. 

Many organizations greenwash by accident and some greenwash on purpose. The most important point, though, is that regardless of intention, the planet is being harmed by these actions. Is your company struggling to navigate ever-changing legislation and regulations about the planet? Are you working to make your company more environmentally friendly and market your products correctly? Are you wanting to help your customers best understand how to recycle your packaging? The expertise you need to make these difficult decisions is at CIRT. Together we can stop greenwashing and work towards a world that is better for people and the planet. 

For comprehensive insights into responsible recycling practices and information on CIRT, visit: https://www.cirt.tech