Accountability throughout the supply chain

Cano Water took to the streets of London's Piccadilly to campaign against greenwashing on Earth Day 2024. Image: Cano Water

This week, many businesses have been marking Earth Day (22 April) with campaigns focused on awareness of sustainable practice, aligned with’s goal of demanding a 60 per cent reduction in the production of all plastics by 2040.

Consumers are not as naive as they perhaps were, say five years ago. More and more people are waking up to the empty messages of greenwashing from larger corporations, and brands such as Cano Water are furthering this aim – the UK brand’s recent campaign in London was particularly eye-catching with its ‘greenwashing in progress’ signs, featuring washing machines full of plastic bottles.

One other significant shift in recent years is that of sustainability reporting. And of course it’s not just consumers that need to be demanding this; it’s everyone in the supply chain. There is a need for traceability at every step of a packaging item’s production, in order to hold businesses and decision-makers accountable for their own claims and messaging.

In Eviosys’ recent consumer packaging survey, 70 per cent of consumers said they now prioritise reusability and recyclability over luxurious or uniquely designed packaging, which is a significant figure and one to consider for brands that may only be innovating to stand out on shelves. It’s clearly not enough without the legitimate green credentials to support the packaging. The Eviosys business results were definitely encouraging, with 90 per cent of businesses having had invested in sustainable packaging research or implementation in the past year.

Of course, even if brands do work to make their packaging sustainable, they (as we all) must keep urging governments to ensure proper recycling infrastructure, as well as clearer and more accessible messaging, all of which will contribute to a more functional circular economy.

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