Sustainable packaging and the risk of “Greenwashing”

Greenwashing is defined as a communication strategy aimed at “cleaning up” the image of a company, a product or a brand with reference to processes with a low environmental impact which, however, are not followed by concrete actions (or, if there are, they can be considered marginal).

Distinguishing the real commitment to the environment from pure “greenwashing” is difficult, and not only in packaging. In fact, there are no solid foundations to which even the companies themselves can refer. Yet clarity in this sense is fundamental because too enthusiastic or “casual” communication can dangerously approach the perimeter of misleading advertising.

Caution is essential in pursuing and communicating environmentally sustainable objectives. Otherwise any initiative could prove to be a boomerang.

A well known international example is that of the financial company Black Rock. They stated they to use their influence to pursue eco-sustainability objectives: they will ask the companies in which they invest to disclose their plans to reduce the environmental impact and to combat climate change; they also propose to increase the share of sustainable investments and to divest from companies that derive more than 25% of their revenues from the exploitation of coal.

Of course, it doesn’t really look like a revolution, but it could only be the beginning of a process destined to evolve over time. But some do not think so: on the Internet, many have accused the company of carrying out a mere facade operation, without concrete commitments (in this Guardian article you will find several reactions on Twitter gathered).

So, we can say, whatever you do, you are always wrong: if you do not change strategies in the name of the environment, you are an enemy of Nature. If you try, what you do is not enough, or they call you a hypocrite.

If your company has decided for an eco-sustainable change in packaging, these examples could make you think. But they must not be discouraged: there is a valid method to ensure that you are pursuing an effective green strategy, without incurring the risk of being accused of greenwashing. How? It’s simple: just pursue a real change. Do it because you really believe in the need to protect the environment. And not as an image operation. The good reputation will come accordingly. It is not rhetoric: it is experience.

We have been working for decades with an eco-sustainable material, aluminum, 100% and infinitely recyclable without losing the original qualities and whose production from recycled material requires 95% less energy than the production of raw materials. We started when the concept of “eco-sustainability” did not even exist.

In the years when plastic invaded every shelf, we kept faith with our choice and we never betrayed aluminum, knowing that sooner or later a turning point would come. We can therefore say that we were born “green”. This is why we have created ToBeNaturAl, a completely recyclable aluminum tube with a compostable bioplastic closure cap: a 100% eco-sustainable packaging solution. Our commitment also continues on the disclosure front: together with the CiAl Consortium, last summer we promoted a social awareness campaign on the value of truly sustainable packaging “The 8 golden rules of conscious packaging“. Thanks to this campaign, we told the general public about the peculiarities of a packaging that has a long tradition and is still innovative and functional.

Concrete initiatives that turn into real opportunities for you. If your company really wants to take a step towards eco-sustainability in packaging, contact us: you will find in us not a simple supplier but a partner capable of interpreting your commitment to Nature and offering real solutions, with concrete advantages for the environment that can also enhance your brand.

Green packaging that will not only be perceived as a gesture in favor of the environment but that will make a real difference. For everyone’s sake (including your products’).

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