Quelle surprise – a label saying something’s green doesn’t necessarily make it so:
Eco-friendly labels are becoming more ubiquitous, but they may be misleading.
Six cases of alleged “greenwashing” – the use of environmental claims that are unsubstantiated, misleading or irrelevant – are being investigated by the Commerce Commission .
“Green” is the new black but it’s very difficult to know what’s greenwash and what’s not.
[Commerce Commission competitions manager Greg]Allan said there had been cases when “biodegradable” and “recyclable” had allegedly been used for products, when there were not facilities in New Zealand able to do the biodegrading or recycling.
Even if the facilities were here how would we know what the environmental impact of the biodegrading and recycling was and if the cost of doing it was justified by the benefit?
The cost might not matter to the well-off but it would make the difference between affordability or not for many others.
That is not a justification for environmental degradation but a reminder that sustainability is the balance between economic, environmental and social concerns.