Like a lot of my classmates, I had never heard of greenwashing before Thursday. As I began to research for this post, one of the things that stuck out most to me was the greenwashing of bottled water. To me, when I think of plastic bottles, “green” is not the first thing that comes to mind. However, companies are actually claiming that their water bottles are more environmentally friendly. According to Nestle – which produces Nestle Pure Life, Perrier, Poland Spring, and S. Pellegrino – “bottled water is the most environmentally responsible consumer product in the world.” Obviously, this is not the case. The average plastic bottle takes 450 years to decompose. These bottles also require two non-renewable materials, oil and natural gas. People may claim that this plastic is ok because it’s recyclable, right? Wrong. Though of course, these bottles are recyclable, it is said that almost 60% of plastic bottles end up in the landfill, contributing to the large global amount of trash and plastic pollution. The recycling of plastics is also not as easy as they make it sound because it can never be fully decomposed. Oftentimes, this plastic loses much of its properties and quality when being recycled. Companies, such as Arrowhead, promote words such as “eco-friendly” with new “eco-shapes.” These describe their use of “less plastic,” which may seem great but it’s still harmful to our environment, not only in the production but in what happens after we are done with them.
It’s incredible to me that people can claim that they are “green” and “eco-friendly” when they have no evidence to back up these claims and are often doing more harm than good. This can be seen everywhere and it’s hard to know what is actually eco-friendly or even slightly less bad.