Green Chef is one of many meal-kit subscription companies. The main difference between it and other similar companies, such as HelloFresh and Blue Apron, is that Green Chef markets itself as being eco-friendly.
“It’s right in the name,” the company’s FAQ reads. “Green Chef is all about eating and living green.”
Sounds great, until you come across a post from a Reddit user titled: “Green chef sent me two separately packaged green onions for the same recipe.”
The post, shared in the r/Anticonsumption subreddit, displays a picture of the two individual green onion sprigs, each in its own egregiously wasteful plastic bag.
The FAQ page of the Green Chef website includes a section titled “Are the packaging materials eco-friendly?” The brand answers its own question, writing, “Yes! We’re constantly innovating to provide the most eco-friendly packaging available. All of our packaging is made from recyclable, reusable, and/or compostable materials – except where we can’t get around it for food safety reasons.”
Given the Reddit post, it seems strange that putting each individual green onion in plastic would be the “most eco-friendly packaging available.”
Companies often portray themselves as more eco-friendly in a practice called “greenwashing,” which is when companies adopt language and branding that sounds environmentally conscious in order to deceive consumers into thinking that they are making an ethical choice.
Single-use plastics are a huge environmental problem — more than 330 million tons of plastic is produced yearly worldwide, with the vast majority of it ending up sitting in landfills or making its way into the oceans.
Redditors claimed that other meal-kit delivery services, such as HelloFresh, sometimes do similar things with their packaging and branding.
“I got a HelloFresh box for the first time and holy s***, the amount of plastic in it makes me sick,” wrote one commenter.
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