Greenwashing is the tactical use of environmental terms and phrases to make products appear more environmentally friendly than they really are. Companies around the world use greenwashing to promote and enhance the sales of their products, and unfortunately, there are few regulations stopping them.
One of the most common terms used to greenwash brands and products is “biodegradable.” Companies and their marketing teams choose to use the word “biodegradable” interchangeably with “compostable”, and almost always neglect to clarify the difference.
Defining the terms...
- Biodegradable refers to an item that can fully degrade, but has no pre-determined end-of-life. Biodegradable products will EVENTUALLY disappear, but could take decades to even begin the process.
- Compostable refers to an item that can fully degrade, without a trace, in just a few months in a composting environment.