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Going green sells. Manufacturers and growers all over the country are realizing this fact and are jumping on the bandwagon. While a number of companies are actually greening-up their acts, an unfortunate majority are simply changing their advertising and making false green claims to improve sales.
Greenwashing is a form of false advertising used to mislead consumers regarding the environmental benefits of a company's products or services.
How to Identify Greenwashing Terrachoice and EcoLogo have combined their green and marketing knowledge to identify six common forms of greenwashing.
1. Hidden Trade-offs 2. No Proof 3. Vagueness 4. Irrelevance 5. Fibbing 6. Lesser of Two Evils
What to Look for When Purchasing Bio-Plastics
Words like "Completely Biodegradable" and "100% Compostable" are used often when referring to new bio-plastics. They sound eco-friendly, but without proof, there is no way of knowing whether the claims are true.
# BPI Certification. The Biodegradable Products Institute awards certification to any products that have been tested in an approved facility and are compliant with ASTM standards D6400 and D6868. If you see this logo on a product, this is definitely a good purchase. # ASTM Standards. The American Society for Testing and Materials standards D6400 and D6868 set specific conditions for bio-based products. They have to biodegrade a certain amount within 180 days or less, leaving behind no toxic materials. If a product is labeled as compliant with one of these two ASTM standards, it is probably a good purchase. # Time on Biodegredation. This specification goes back to the ASTM standards just mentioned. If the manufacturer advertises a product as biodegrading in x amount of days, then you can be confident in buying the product. Most bio-plastics will only meet the ASTM qualification on biodegrading under commercial composting conditions.