Greenwashing is the practice of pretending to care about the environment. It is a form of deceit commonly practiced by marketing departments engaging in a sleight-of-hand attempt to distract the public from policies of pollution.

This term was coined by Jay Westervelt in a 1986 essay on the hotel industry's use of placards about reusing towels. The practice in fact stretches back even further to advertising done in the 1960s. 

Groups guilty of greenwashing include BP, ExxonMobil, and the US Government. The last one might surprise you, but then maybe you've never seen a recycling truck dump its load into a trash truck at the end of your street.

It seems fair to add a 10 year update to the short writeup above, and it also seems fair to select this as a target for polemic. COP27 Corporate sponsor Coca-cola has just been reconfirmed as the worst plastic polluter globally for the fifth year in a row! Congratulations, company that makes a fizzy drink!

Greenwashing is the process by which organisations attempt to hide the damage they are doing to the planet under a veneer of ecological responsibility. It's Coca-cola unashamedly claiming to have as an "ambition" cleaning up after itself.

"Litter in our oceans can have a distressing effect on wildlife"....thanks Coca-cola! How about instead of aiming hopefully at collecting the litter you produce, you just stop producing it?

How about instead of framing this as about making puffins sad, we acknowledge the extent of the problem and polluters are forced to change? First we would need to select and empower a group of people to exercise some kind of collective authority based on our shared interests? We could call it a "Moot", or an "Allthing", or "Government".

50% of all plastic has been produced since 2005.

Global carbon emissions have never been higher.

Don't buy into the narrative that this is about individual consumer responsibility. I'm not saying that individual action doesn't matter, but this is about an unsustainable global supply network. Unsustainable systems collapse. By now it should be obvious that this is a crisis, unfortunately it seems difficult for us to process problems this much bigger than us.

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