Passions: Responsible solutions

Published on Sep 17, 2022 02:18 AM IST

Are companies only doing the bare minimum or is it up to the consumers to take responsibility, especially when it comes to the environment?

Sprite is now being packaged in clear plastic bottles instead of green ones in North America, to boost recycling
Sprite is now being packaged in clear plastic bottles instead of green ones in North America, to boost recycling
ByRia Bose, Ameya

“We all know that greenwashing exists”

By Ria Bose

Ria says, “instead of coming up with truly better solutions, companies put the onus on us”
Ria says, “instead of coming up with truly better solutions, companies put the onus on us”

For years now, big corporations have done what they want to do at the cost of everyone around them, more specifically, the environment. We all know that greenwashing exists and is something that companies do when they want to showcase to their consumers that they are very conscious about their green thumb, carbon footprint or water wastage and basically portray themselves to be eco-champions so that people like you and me think we’re doing the right thing by choosing their product over others.

But, if you think about it, instead of coming up with truly better solutions to eliminate the single use PET bottles or reduce how much water is used when making one T-shirt, or using alternative materials that very much exist and are sustainable and reusable, companies are putting the onus on us, the consumers, to recycle products, start thrifting or make many little inconvenient changes in their lifestyles, instead.

While in reality they’ll still produce plastic bottles, T-shirts, earbuds, diapers or straws by the billion, yes billion every year.

Let’s be honest for a minute here, even if we all decide to recycle the product in our homes, there is no way we can compete with companies who produce billions of throwaway items every year. These plastic bits are everywhere, harming our health, our communities, our oceans and our environment.

The harsh reality is that companies have to replace plastic with something sustainable, and alternatives do already exist.

Ria Bose, 25, is a teacher who tries to minimise her carbon footprint as much as she can.

“Any change makes a difference”

By Ameya

Ameya says, “A company making this switch is also making a statement about making a change to its consumers”
Ameya says, “A company making this switch is also making a statement about making a change to its consumers”

When a multinational company that sells millions, if not billions of its products, takes even a small step, it makes a difference. With products that are sold across continents, any change made, any difference initiated won’t be just physical, but ideological as well. And why shouldn’t companies talk about any change they make to their products that will better the environment, no matter how big or small?

Consumers expect brands to tackle and address issues regarding climate change and the environment. A company making a switch to any of its products worldwide, no matter how minor, is making a mass statement to the world to make a change. Whether it’s companies deciding to use more sustainable materials in their products and packaging, (yes, this logic also applies to your neighbourhood kirana store refusing to sell you items in a plastic bag) encouraging their consumers to recycle, using renewable energy, or try to reduce waste, forget about the competitors, even consumers on an individual level would be motivated to make a change.

So, any percentage of improvement, be it 1 per cent or 10 per cent, would make a difference. The effect will only compound as the years pass. For those who would say that these changes are too small, well it’s a start, and if small changes can make a large difference, a start is all we need.

Ameya, 24, is an advertising professional.

From HT Brunch, September 17, 2022

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