It’s that time again, I’ve got more greenwashing examples to share with you! I can’t believe that I’m still sharing greenwashing examples in 2022. You would think the world would be more sustainable with genuine marketing by now, but no…
Fake News? How about Fake Forests!
The most egregious example of greenwashing I’ve come across this year is the investigative journalist piece on phantom forests. These are forests that are supposed to exist as part of carbon capture and offsetting programmes that don’t actually exist in some cases. The BBC reported that some of these afforestation and restoration projects never took place. Additionally, whole forests have died or were harvested. For example, in mangrove carbon capture projects, the programme used unsuitable species and they died.
The article looks at several of the large-scale afforestation and restoration global projects, such as Trillion Trees, and Great Green Wall. You can see in the article (link above) that all projects are some ways off their targets, or their progress is unclear. In a case in Mozambique, the BBC reports that mature natural forests have been logged to make way for monoculture plantations. Let’s all collectively sigh and face palm at this spectacular failure. Come on humans, we can do better!
For more on afforestation, see: Afforestation – Is it Greenwashing?
And, for more on carbon offsetting, see: Is Carbon Offsetting Greenwashing?
Canuck Coffee Pods
Here is a bit of news for my Canadian readers. Keurig Canada has been ordered to pay a $3 million CAD penalty for misleading consumers about the recyclability of their plastic K-Cup pods. See more details from EcoJustice Canada.
Tree Planting Credit Card
Definitely a way to solve hyper-consumerism and debt is to make a card green and claim that planting trees will make it all better (*rolls eyes*).
What’s wrong with glass?
As many of the comments on this post correctly point out, people are questioning why Heinz can’t just use their glass bottles. This new pulp-based packaging can’t be recycled as paper products needs to be clean. Perhaps the company should be focusing on their ingredients, additives, and agricultural processes to reduce their impact.
Look, a distraction!
This case of greenwashing made me laugh and groan at the same time. Tefal – the brand behind no stick, who up until the last decade or so ago coated their pans in toxic chemicals, are showing us how to fold a bag to be sustainable. See the film “Dark Waters” if you want to understand more about the legal action again DuPont producing and polluting PFOAs. PFOAs are carcinogens and disrupt hormones and have contaminated modern society forever (not exaggerating).
In the UK, the Innocent Smoothing television advert has been pulled after it made un-substantiated claims that their product helps the environment. On a positive note, The Independent have reported that the number of adverts banned by the Advertising Standards Authority for greenwashing have tripled in a year. This demonstrates that viewers are more aware of greenwashing and are taking action on false claims.
A Greenwashing Classic
Lastly, good old Coca-Cola is at it again. They are a top global polluter, and their latest pledge is to AIM to have at least 25% of all beverages sold in a refillable/recyclable container by 2030. Coca-Cola currently produces 3 million tonnes of plastic annually. Moreover, their current proportion of recyclable packaging is 16%, so this isn’t an ambitious goal at all.