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A Push To Avoid Vague Environmental Terms Like ‘Biodegradable’

July 31, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
Language around plastics is getting tighter and retailers and suppliers may find themselves on the back foot. In an opinion piece in Grocer, Karen Bird rails against brands that describe packaging as ‘degradable’ or ‘biodegradable’ when such plastics do not fully degrade but pollute with long-lasting microplastics. She calls for precision in labeling to better inform rather than confuse consumers, saying that it is “irresponsible to use equivocal language.” A shift to clearer langue on plastics would reflect broader developments in the description of environmental and climate concerns. For example, in May, The Guardian updated its style guide, pointing to a range of scientific and professional commentary that suggests previous terms are inadequate or misleading. The media company will switch ‘climate change’ for ‘climate crisis’ and ‘global warming’ for ‘global heating’. [Image Credit: © meineresterampe from Pixabay.com]
Karen Bird, "Fmcg should stop using vague environmental terms like ‘biodegradable’", The Grocer, July 31, 2019, © William Reed Business Media Ltd
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