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Watchdog Tackles Greenwashing

In our latest wrap-up ... watchdog to investigate misleading eco-friendly claims, Co-op’s honest new sub-brand, M&S packaging that oozes British class, why M&M means mono material, innovative trays up for an Oscar, some sustainable snippets, and something you may not know about aluminium foil …



Watchdog on the trail of misleading eco-friendly claims

A Government watchdog is to investigate descriptions and labels used to promote products and services claiming to be "eco-friendly", and whether they could mislead consumers.

This initiative from the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) is a response to the growing number of products and services being marketed as environmentally friendly, as awareness of environmental issues increases.

And it is already sparking discussion on Social Media. For example, Tracy Sutton, founder of Root Environmental Services, said: "This could be a pivotal piece of work to hopefully reinforce and make more tangible the European policy about making marketing claims and hopefully fill a gap where the Green Claims Code used to be."

Jane Fischer, Advisory Board Member for Material Innovations, responded: "It is the owners of brands who should be held responsible for false claims made to potential buyers rather than undisclosed producers or marketers."

David Burrows, a freelance journalist, asked: "Time to come clean on greenwashing?" And David Robert Newman, President of the World Biogas Association, answered: "This was the instrument we used to wipe out claims for uncertified 'biodegradable' in Italy 10 years ago."

Also Mike Barry, strategic advisor on sustainable business, commented: "The risks of greenwash by the unwary and, occasionally, the unscrupulous, needs to be monitored closely to maintain trust and confidence in the marketplace". 

The CMA activity will cover a wide range of sectors, although it is likely to focus on those industries where consumers appear most concerned about misleading claims.


The sustainability of plastic …

  • Several Videos

Flexible Packaging Europe have launched key messages in video animation form about the sustainability benefits of flexible packaging.

  • Seven Benefits

The British Plastics Federation highlights seven key benefits of plastic for the environment including "It saves water – the production of a plastic bag consumes less than 4% of the water needed to make a paper bag".

  • Numerous Experts

Thought leaders from across the packaging value chain are sharing their insights on major sustainability topics in a series of podcasts. Amcor's sustainability director Gerald Rebitzer was first to speak to Packaging Europe in the podcasts that accompany the Sustainability Awards 2020 and the Sustainable Packaging Summit.


  • Five Misperceptions

Jeremy Blake, Programme Manager at environmental services firm Enval, has summarised an article entitled "Myth-busting: 5 common misperceptions surrounding the environmental impacts of single-use plastics". 

As one example, he refers to the belief that "the environmental impacts of plastics are greater than any other packaging material". And says: "Actually, plastic generally has lower overall environmental impacts than single-use glass or metal in most impact categories."


  • Honest to Goodness

Co-op has launched a new "Honest Value” sub-brand. Centred on “integrity, value and being focused on delivering essentials for customers”, it includes ready meals such as Spaghetti Bolognese for £1.25.

  • British Classic Quality

The packaging of Marks & Spencer’s new Modern Classics ready meals range is capturing attention. The wrappers and blue lacquered aluminium foil trays convey a certain British style that suggest classic quality, perfectly presenting the products that are made to recipes developed by expert chefs.

  • M&M is Mono Material

Mars, in France, has launched new mono-material packaging for its M&M’s Choco – simplifying the structure to increase the likelihood of it being recycled. 


  • Aluminium foil packaging can be “used safely in microwave ovens”.
  • Consumers pay more attention to on-pack claims related to nutrition, sustainability, and ethical issues than to sensory-based claims such as “great taste”.
  • High Pressure Processing (HPP) is also known as High Pressure Pascalisation, High Pressure Pasteurisation, Cold Pasteurisation, Cold Pressure Technology, High Pressure Technology, and High Hydrostatic Pressure Processing.


  • To Faerch France whose Evolve range is up for an award in the “Oscars of Packaging” on November 23rd in Paris. The Evolve trays are made from 100% recycled material and can be fully recycled into new food trays.


As the country enters a second lockdown, we’d like to assure everyone that it’s business as usual here at KM, supporting food manufacturers across the country and around the world.

From the KM team … Stay Safe, Keep Up the Good Work, and Stay Calm.

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