The Plastics Blog
By Don Loepp | About The Plastics Blog

So, which is it - Earth Day, or Greenwashing Day?

By Don Loepp | April 22, 2013 12:20 pm ET

Earth Day is 43 years old, and it's starting to make me believe in the (even older) counterculture phrase, "Don't trust anyone over 30."

Why am I so cynical? It's tough to take Earth Day seriously when most of the items I see about the birth of the environmental movement are generated by the PR departments at big corporations.

Coca-Cola, Haggar Clothing, Nestle Waters North America, Office Depot, and many more companies took the opportunity this year to put out press releases about their environmental efforts.

So, is that a good thing? Does it mean environmentalism is so mainstream that even corporate America is on board?

That's one way to look at it. And that fits with my theory that nearly everyone is a self-identified environmentalist.

Plus, I admit that Earth Day is a great time for companies to get out their environmental message and highlight their green credentials. There's value in that -- many companies really do a lot on behalf the the planet. So if you're a company that wants to tell that story, it may seem appropriate to do it on April 22.

On top of that, some companies may feel compelled to give their side of the story on Earth Day because otherwise they would be under attack. There are people who think that companies that sell bottled water -- like Coke and Nestle, for example -- don't have the right green credentials. Critics like Think Outside the Bottle want attention on Earth Day too.

But the corporate take-over of the Earth Day message doesn't sound authentic to me. Am I the only one?

***

Data about plastics recycling is important -- that's one reason Plastics News gives prominent play to stories about recycling rates for bottles, film & bags, non-bottle rigid packaging and other products.

For Earth Day, ReCommunity (a group which does recycling in various communities) is listing how much it collected for the year, broken down by material. The data is compiled in annual sustainability reports, by locality. Check out the reports and see if your hometown is among those listed.


Recent Blog Posts

Law denies benefits to former Nazis, including former plastics executive   December 18, 2014 5:53 pm ET
Study estimates 269,000 tons of plastic in world's oceans   December 10, 2014 7:25 pm ET
Plastics and politics ... it's serious business   December 4, 2014 5:20 pm ET
Thanksgiving balloons — yep, they're plastic   November 26, 2014 1:59 pm ET
New registration process for plasticsnews.com (Psst: It's still free)   November 18, 2014 10:44 am ET
Astronauts, 3-D printing and hoverboards? Sounds good   November 5, 2014 11:01 am ET

Comments

So, which is it - Earth Day, or Greenwashing Day?

By Don Loepp

Published: April 22, 2013 12:20 pm ET
Updated: April 22, 2013 1:21 pm ET

Post Your Comments


Back to story

Market Reports

Flexible Packaging Trends in North America

Our latest RESEARCH report examines trends in FLEXIBLE PACKAGING impacting the North American market including a review of economic conditions, key drivers of growth, materials pricing, M&A activity, sustainability challenges and the outlook for 2015.

Learn more

Plastics in Brazil - State of the Industry Report

This in-depth report examines the Brazilian plastics industry from a historical and geographical context. Our analysts provide insight on economic trends and forecasts, growing manufacturing sectors that utilize plastics, private investment opportunities, market environment challenges, and innovations in R&D.

Data tables and charts on producer prices, trade, plastics production and end market indicators is also included.

Learn more

Plastics Recycling Trends in North America

This report is a review and analysis of the North American Plastics Recycling Industry, including key trends and statistics based on 2013 performance. We examine market environment factors, regulatory issues, industry challenges, key drivers and emerging trends in post-consumer and post-industrial recycling.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

January 14, 2015 - January 14, 2015Plastics in Automotive

February 4, 2015 - February 6, 2015Plastics News Executive Forum 2015

June 2, 2015 - June 3, 2015Plastics Financial Summit - Chicago 2015

September 16, 2015 - September 18, 2015Plastics Caps & Closures - September 2015

October 27, 2015 - October 29, 2015Plastics Financial Summit - New York - 2015

More Events