Huggies Greenwashing

Disposable products that are intended for a one time use take up a huge amount of space in landfills. One product that non-parents forget about would be disposable diapers. Parents have the option of using cloth diapers to save money and help the environment, but how many actually do this? The concept of a cloth diaper is out dated and inconvenient for the typical busy parent. Disposable diapers take 450 years to decompose and a single baby can use up to 3360 diapers in a year. What can parents who do not wish to use cloth diapers do to help reduce the amount of diapers that end up in landfills? Huggies has a line of diapers called “Huggies Green and Natural”. When a consumer sees the words “green” or “natural” mentioned in a product, they will likely automatically assume that the product is better for the environment. If a product is being marketed as “natural”, then it must decompose at a faster rate, right? Wrong. The diapers are made from organic cotton and the packaging is made from only 20% post-consumer recycled materials. Many companies use 100% post-consumer recycled materials so it is possible for Huggies to do the same for their diapers, especially when they are advertising a product as “green”. Due to this marketing strategy, consumers may think that they are doing something good by buying this product as opposed to normal diapers that may be more cost efficient. When in reality, these are still disposable diapers. These diapers are not biodegradable and will still take 450 years to decompose in a landfill. The misleading name could convince consumers that they are helping the environment by purchasing this product, but in reality, the product is greenwashed and does not actually help reduce the amount of time the diaper spends decomposing in a landfill. This product is an example of greenwashing because it uses the product name to convince naive parents that the diapers are better for the environment when they are actually just a diaper made of organic cotton that still take 450 years to decompose.

 

https://www.des.nh.gov/organization/divisions/water/wmb/coastal/trash/documents/marine_debris.pdf

http://www.toysrus.com/shop/index.jsp?categoryId=10872434

2 thoughts on “Huggies Greenwashing

  1. Super interesting! It’s crazy how unaware we are about the composition of products we consume on a daily basis.

  2. Excellent points. Just because a product contains a material that is more sustainable, doesn`t mean that it is sustainable overall. You still have to look at the item as a whole.

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