SELF-REGULATION & GREENWASHING
Greenwashing and “positive resistance” are two common strategies employed by businesses to deflect adopting effective measures to combat plastic pollution. If national or international authorities propose to address plastic pollution by legislation or taxation, businesses will often insist that they’ll adopt voluntary steps to accomplish the same goal. One of the options they usually suggest for the authorities is that the company can come up with their own strategy.
It is possible to as a sector offer a different option that can lead to delays for years, however it could appear as if the companies are cooperating. This tactic of ‘positive resistance is particularly efficient in the context of regular elections. With a variety of politicians in power the discussion begins every election cycle. Politicians are able to change their positions, and lobbyists from companies with extensive expertise remain. The main task of these lobbyists is to stop laws that may be a hindrance for companies.
SELF-REGULATION ON MICROBEADS
The European cosmetics industry provides an excellent illustration of the self-regulated. The industry incorporates plastic particles into products for care on a massive scale, from eyeliner to toothpaste and body scrubs to shaving soap. The plastic particles in these products perform a variety of roles, like acting as abrasives and thickeners. Due to the beat of the Microbead initiative, however, there’s significant pressure being put upon the sector to cease this practice. To ensure that they’re not slapped with a ban, the company decided a couple of several years back to remove plastic microbeads from their products. By voluntarily removing them, however, they were only referring to microbeads added to their products to scrub the skin.
The industry opted for their own definition to ensure that other microplastics which had other functionswere able to be used as components in products for personal care. If legal steps were initiated to require that all microplastics be removed from products for personal care, 90% of these formulas would have to be changed. Self-regulation’s unspoken purpose is the avoiding of regulations that require a transition to products that are plastic-free. This is a decision that could result in significant cost to businesses.
Many companies like to advertise their products as eco-friendly and sustainable, but that doesn’t mean that they are actually. The process of painting company operations with a green hue is referred to as greenwashing. Greenwashing examples are endless, not only in relation to pollution caused by plastic. For instance, the three-ring initiative by Danone, Veolia, Nestle as well as Tetra Pak is just one instance. To address the fast-growing issue of plastic pollution, these multinationals are aiming to establish a new credit system that will encourage recycling. Participating companies will be able to purchase credits in projects designed to clean up the environment and recycling.
The funds used for the project are used to pay waste collectors an increased wage and inspire people to collect more recyclable plastic. It’s foolish to think this will be helpful. The measures that will really assist, such as the drastic reduction of plastic packaging, should not be considered as greenwashing.