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Consumer Advice Center: “Green” packaging is often misleading | Free Press

Packaging that looks like recycled paper or self-evident as an advertising promise: Consumer advocates warn against decorating windows, especially with cardboard beverage cartons.

Düsseldorf (dpa) – Organic milk in what appears to be a cardboard box or liquid detergent in a plastic bottle “Made to recycle”: Many consumer goods manufacturers now use “green” packaging to attract customers.

But the packaging is often not as eco-friendly as customers believe due to green marketing, the North Rhine-Westphalia consumer center warned on Monday.

The consumer center classified beverage cartons in the “waste paper look”, like those used by some organic milk suppliers, as particularly problematic. “With such products, consumers assumed that the packaging belonged to used paper. The cartons for drinks are made of composite materials that must be disposed of in the yellow sack, “criticizes Philip Heldt, an environmental expert at the North Rhine-Westphalia consumer center.

The outer packaging made of paper with a sustainable effect, for example toothpaste, simply suggested special ecological qualities. Because the additional wrapping of the plastic tube is unnecessary and consumes additional resources.

Consumer advocates called statements like “Recyclable Packaging” or “Made to Recycle” on the packaging as a “marketing gimmick.” Advertising is taken for granted here. According to the law, packaging must be manufactured in such a way that it can be reused or recycled, ”said Heidt.

On the other hand, experts gave a positive rating to pharmacy products whose packaging actually contained a very high proportion of recycled plastic (more than 90 percent).

Just a few weeks ago, the Naturschutzbund Deutschland complained in a study that packaged fruits and vegetables were causing ever-larger mountains of garbage. According to Nabu’s study, 60 percent of fruits and vegetables are currently sold packaged. This resulted in more than 103,000 tons of packaging waste in 2019. That is around 10,000 tons more than in 2016.