When you’re trying to buy products that don’t contribute towards climate change, words like “sustainable” or “eco-friendly” on packaging can suck you in. You might also be drawn towards big businesses who’ve made headline-grabbing, green pledges. But unfortunately, not all is as it seems. While some products and brands are making environmentally-friendly changes, others are simply capitalising on the moment, without actually making a meaningful difference.
This marketing ploy is known as greenwashing – when companies make spurious environmental claims about their products or services. And as journalist Sophia Smith Galer pointed out, even some of the sponsors of the COP26 climate conference are guilty of it. Greenwashing is not a new trend and brands have been in trouble in the past for disingenuous eco claims. So, how exactly can you spot signs of it?