Recyclable Is Not Recycled: Why Recyclable is the Greenwashing-est Word Around
Because it doesn’t mean anything.
By Rachel Cernansky
Recycling is great, and the people who make it happen—from recycling companies to the end users of recycled materials—should get points for being green. But a brand that claims it is helping the environment by manufacturing recyclable products is not doing much more than greenwashing.
Take plastic: most of it is recyclable. That doesn’t make it an eco-friendly material, or mean we should be consuming more of it—it’s still an oil-based product, and still consumes energy during production. (Not to mention the resources that go into transporting it, and then for soda or water bottles, refrigeration at the store often consumes more energy than the transportation and bottling processes together.)
None of that energy is replenished by recycling the bottle, a process that itself consumes energy. Recycling is better than landfilling it, of course, but the company has no control over where its products end up. For the company, environmental stewardship ends with printing “recyclable” on the label. [Continue Reading]