Why is Greenwashing a Problem?

Categories Greenwashing

To present themselves to consumers as a more environmentally responsible choice, companies of all sizes often engage in greenwashing efforts for their products, services, and reputation. While it may be easy to view greenwashing as one of the many cases of misleading advertising in the world, the reality is that greenwashing is far more harmful than most people think. Knowing why greenwashing is a problem is crucial for understanding why it needs to be more strictly regulated and prevented. That is why the experts at Change Plastic for Good have put together some information on the problems caused by greenwashing to help consumers make educated purchasing decisions and join the movement to reveal the misinformation spread by companies that partake in greenwashing.

Learn what the 5 types of greenwashing are and how to avoid them.

3 Problems Caused by Greenwashing

Greenwashing causes the following problems for consumers, companies, and the environment:

1. Difficult to Choose a Truly Green Solution

With so many companies choosing to engage in greenwashing tactics, it can be extremely difficult to determine which companies are worth supporting. While there are several techniques and methods you can use to debunk false environmental claims and other forms of greenwashing, this can take a lot of time. This is especially true if you need to perform an analysis of every product you are looking at purchasing, as this will likely take a lot more time than you are able to commit. The sad reality is that many companies who partake in greenwashing know this, and that is why they continue to do it. Consumers that wish to be part of the solution by purchasing truly green products and supporting the right companies are left with the task of raising greenwashing awareness and calling out dishonest companies, forcing them to work harder to do the right thing.

2. All Companies Appear to be Dishonest

While many companies engage in greenwashing practices, there are several small and large companies that take every effort to be as honest and forthcoming with their practices as possible. Unfortunately, these companies’ efforts are often overshadowed by the rampant greenwashing performed by other brands and their products. This discourages smaller companies from honest practices while pushing them toward dishonest greenwashing to gain an edge, perpetuating the cycle of misinformation.

3. Continuing to Support Harmful Companies

Even if a consumer has every intention of being part of the solution, there is a high chance they will purchase products from a company that utilizes poor environmental practices or has a bad record in terms of sustainability. This means that companies engaging in greenwashing will continue to be rewarded for their actions even though they have done nothing to improve their processes or products. In some cases, consumers may even attempt to dispose of “responsible” packaging in their recycling or compost bins even if it is not recyclable or compostable, causing more items to end up in a landfill.

At the end of the day, consumers are left with the difficult task of spotting greenwashing, raising awareness, and promoting truly green companies. While these are difficult tasks, they are highly beneficial for other consumers, honest businesses, and the environment, making them well worth the effort.

To learn more about greenwashing or Thunderforce, get in touch with the team at Change Plastic for Good. We can be reached through our online contact form and will be happy to answer any questions you may have regarding BDP® or the movement to raise greenwashing awareness.