In the video, a filthy, supposedly biodegradable, plastic grocery bag is shown holding a full load of groceries as the user states, “These ‘biodegradable’ bags spent three years in the ocean, but you can still carry groceries in them.”
They go on to explain that after discovering this, scientists decided to test other bags that were marketed as biodegradable. They placed them in different conditions for three years, and the user reports that when they dug them up, “Not one of the bags could completely vanish or completely degrade in all of the environments and particularly in the soil and marine environment.”
They end by telling viewers, “Remember that not everything labeled as ‘biodegradable’ or ‘eco-friendly’ is truly safe for nature.”
@getwasteed Most ‘biodegradable’ bags are not what you think! 📹 University of Plymouth #biodegradable #ecofriendly #mythbusted #greenwashing ♬ Astronaut In The Ocean – Masked Wolf
This video shows one example of what has become frighteningly common among many companies, big and small — greenwashing. Greenwashing is defined as “the act or practice of making a product, policy, activity, etc. appear to be more environmentally friendly or less environmentally damaging than it really is,” and it’s a major problem.
Greenwashing — like saying a plastic bag is biodegradable when, in fact, no plastic is truly biodegradable — leads consumers to believe they are making an environmentally-safe choice when they really aren’t. It not only stops consumers from making changes and using products that actually do help the environment, but it also actively contributes to the destruction of the environment.
As the video points out, biodegradation was especially low in the marine environment, and about 26 billion pounds of plastic ends up in the ocean every year, where it breaks into microplastics that are incredibly harmful to ocean wildlife.
Commenters were understandably shocked and upset with one of them asking, “Shouldnt that be illegal? Like thats false advertising, no?” and another adding, “Greenwashing is real.”
If the video made you feel some kind of way, share it. Talking about our changing climate is one of the best things we can do to help. Well, that and grossing out our friends with dirty garbage bags.
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