SO have you ever heard of the term ‘greenwashing’?

Greenwashing is pretty new, and it is where companies convince us that we are making an eco-friendly choice when actually we are not.

They do this to sell their products, as they have realised that the public are more aware of how their actions impact the world we live in.

We had an issue recently where my son had a plastic single-use water bottle on our table at work. I wasn’t happy for obvious reasons. Chris was on the stall so I asked them both about it and they were shocked. ‘But muuuuummmmm, it’s an eco-friendly bottle and I bought it just to show you!’

Upon closer inspection this bottle did have a green label saying eco-friendly. My son and husband had been confused by greenwashing, and if it’s that easy to do then I need to help people be more aware.

Head and Shoulders and Herbal Essence, Fairy have also jumped on the greenwashing bandwagon by selling bottles of shampoo that are sold as being made from sea plastic. Some of these have as little as 10 to 25 per cent recycled plastic in their bottles, they are selling a notion of cleaning our seas, when the reality is different.

Almost all water bottles are recyclable so do not let this sway you into buying one, yes if a bottle is created using 100 per cent recycled plastic it is better for the environment than using virgin plastic. However, please understand that most plastic is only recyclable a maximum of 10 times before it has to go to landfill as the polymers break down.

So that plastic bottle will still end up in landfill at some point, as will all plastics. The only way to stop that is to stop buying those plastic water bottles, and cut down where you feel you can, the amount of plastic you use. That is why a re-usable water bottle is always one of my first suggestion when people are looking to make small changes.

I do realise it is a good thing that these companies are changing due to the pressure the public is putting on them, and this is a great step in the right direction. Some companies are even using 100 per cent recycled sea plastics and that is helping to actively tackle our sea plastic waste issues, you just need to be aware so you don’t get sucked into advertising campaigns – read the labels, do a bit of research and be more aware and cut back completely where you can.

Next month I will be tackling the confusion with the terms compostable, degradable and biodegradable to help you understand what they really mean.