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Sustainability Done Right

by Colleen Connelly
General Counsel and VP of Quality & Compliance, Orora

The aisles of supermarkets are stocked with products advertising their use of recycled content, their eco-friendliness, or incorporating buzzwords like “eco,” “renewable” or “recyclable”. With the rise in popularity of sustainability claims, we must recognize the importance of verifying such claims and be on the lookout for “greenwashing.”

What is greenwashing?

Greenwashing is the process of conveying a false impression or providing misleading information about how a company’s products are more environmentally sound than they actually are. While most companies have the best intentions, the laws around sustainability claims are complicated and vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. Some very big and sophisticated companies have ended up paying millions of dollars to settle claims of greenwashing.

How do we avoid greenwashing claims?

  • We trust but verify – When a company makes a sustainability claim, we ask for the data or test results to back it up. If they have done the work to back up their claims, they will be happy to share the results so we can verify their claims.

  • Be curiously skeptical – When it comes to sustainability claims – If it seems too good to be true, it probably is.

  • Know what is actually recyclable in your area – The packaging says “curbside recyclable” but does your neighborhood recycling system actually recycle that type of packaging? You can get clear information on what is and isn’t recyclable in your local area from your local waste management agency.

More and more companies are making sustainable choices when it comes to their packaging, but it is important to know the difference between real sustainability and greenwashing when evaluating the many options available.

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Sustainable Packaging?

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Sustainably Packaged Magazine

Orora’s magazine dedicated to Sustainable Packaging insights, trends & ideas. Available in both Print and digital versions.

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Sustainable Packaging Sourcebook

Our Sustainable Packaging Sourcebook is coming soon! Register for access to check out our ever growing sourcebook of new sustainable packaging technologies and materials.

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