Background Briefing: Greenwashing

I've been a long time listener of the ABC's Background Briefing, ever since I was interviewed for one of the programmes back in 1998. It's always well-researched and very interesting. What's more, they were one of the first ABC programmes to allow downloads of full programmes.

I listened to Greenwashing expecting it to be about public relations and other evils. It is somewhat, but it looks specifically at environmental claims about products, so it's still very interesting.

They interview Professor Ben Selinger who chaired many of the standards committees that defined the minimums for cleaning products in the 70s. There are some quite interesting comments he made, such as a dishwashing liquid claiming to be "biodegradable" is meaningless, since that is required of that product category by law. Lots of other comments about the make-up of various "green" products, which basically seem to be no or, at best, marginally better environmentally than their mainstream competitors.

His most interesting remark is this: Some people ask me which one I buy, I always buy the product on special.

Great doco, and well worth a listen.