Greenwashing Conundrum

Biodegradable Plastic Bags Are a Hoax




In 2010, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) proposed recommendations for environmental marketing claims. The agency has sent warning letters to 15 marketers informing them that their claims may be deceptive, and requested more scientific evidence that plastic bags labeled as biodegradable, or “oxodegradable”, implying the bag will break down in time when exposed to oxygen, were true to the claim. Because many bags are dumped in the low-oxygen environment of a landfill, the FTC considers those advertised benefits as dubious.

Joseph Greene, a professor at California State University, Chico, points out that oxodegradable should be amended to “oxofragmentable” to be more accurate, because the plastics just break into smaller and smaller pieces. Chemically, they don’t break down into anything less hazardous. In fact, if these plastic bags disintegrate in the ocean, the fragments will be about the right size for sea creatures to mistake them for plankton.


Source: Rabble.ca

Edit ModuleShow Tags

More from Natural Awakenings

Boston Ban

Joining a nationwide movement, Boston has banned single-use plastic shopping bags, requiring shoppers to bring their own totes or pay for eco-friendly bags.

Obsolete Packaging

A British supermarket chain plans to drastically lower its use of plastic packaging in 1,000 of its own-label products.

Recycling IQ

Is this item trash, garbage or recyclable? As important as recycling is, it can sometimes be confusing. A short quiz offers answers to help sort out discards.

Auto Revolution

Thanks to environmental concerns and technology advances, cars with internal combustion engine are yielding to electric vehicles around the globe.

Bottle Buyback

To increase recycling and reduce trash, Britain is considering charging a deposit fee for plastic bottles, an approach that worked in Denmark and South Australia.
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags