DISINFACTS | Special edition 2023

Greenhouse Gas (GHG)- Protocol Greenwashing Climateneutral Compostable Recyclable Ecological footprint The so-called Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Protocol establishes globally standardised frameworks for measuring and managing greenhouse gas emissions from businesses or value chains in the private and public sectors, as well as mitigation measures [5]. Greenwashing refers to when a product is portrayed as particularly sustainable, environmentally friendly, and "green" even though there is no evidence to support it. Manufacturers who engage in greenwashing sometimes use made-up labels instead of certified test seals. Greenwashing is deliberate deception that can be fined under the proposal of the European Commission (Proposal for a Directive on Green Claims) [6]. Climate neutrality means that the same amount of greenhouse gases (CO2 equivalents, CO2e) is emitted as is absorbed from the atmosphere. In contrast, in so-called climate offsetting, greenhouse gases are saved in a sector other than the one that generates the emissions [7]. Composting refers to the process by which (organic) matter is broken down under the influence of oxygen and the release of CO2. There are various institutes, test seals, and labels that indicate compostability. Compostability of plastics is tested according to EN 13432. According to this standard, the product to be tested must be 90% decomposed within 90 days in an industrial composting plant. In order to exclude ecotoxicity of the product, the quality of the general compost must not be negatively affected by its decomposition [8]. A product or material is recyclable, if it can be broken down or shredded into its components and used as a recovered raw material for new products when it has reached its maximum service life. Whether a product is recyclable depends significantly on whether its individual components can be properly isolated from each other in practice [9]. So-called composite foils, for example, are not recyclable. Although these consist of different recyclable plastics, they are inseparably fused together during foil production. Therefore, the foil can only be thermally recycled ‒ i.e. incinerated. So-called mono foils, which consist of only one type of plastic, are more sustainable. These are almost completely recyclable. > please read the article on page 9 The resource consumption of a person, country, or company can be converted into a hypothetical biologically productive area that would be necessary to meet the needs of this person/country/company. The total area is called the ecological footprint and includes, among other things, areas for the production of food, energy, clothing, and waste disposal [10]. References 1. https://www.umweltbundesamt.de/biobasierte-biologisch-abbaubare-kunststoffe#haufig-gestellte-fragen-faq (accessed on 22/06/2023) 2. https://www.swr.de/wissen/1000-antworten/der-co2-gehalt-in-der-atmosphaere-liegt-bei-004-prozent-wie-kann-eine-so-geringe-menge-das-klima-erwaermen-100.html (accessed on 22/06/2023) 3. https://allianz-entwicklung-klima.de/toolbox/was-bedeuten-co2-aequivalent-co2e-und-global-warming-potential-gwp/ (accessed on 22/06/2023) 4. https://www.umweltpakt.bayern.de/energie_klima/fachwissen/279/carbon-footprint (accessed on 22/06/2023) 5. https://ghgprotocol.org/ (accessed on 22/06/2023) 6. https://www.ihk.de/hamburg/produktmarken/beratung-service/recht-und-steuern/wirtschaftsrecht/wettbewerbsrecht/greenwashing-5739388 (accessed on 28/06/2023) 7. https://www.europarl.europa.eu/news/de/headlines/society/20190926STO62270/was-versteht-man-unter-klimaneutralitat (accessed on 22/06/2023) 8. https://www.beuth.de/de/norm/din-en-13432/32115376 (accessed on 22/06/2023) 9. Stiftung Zentrale Stelle Verpackungsregister (2022). Mindeststandard für die Bemessung der Recyclingfähigkeit von Systembeteiligungspflichtigen Verpackungen gemäß § 21 Abs. 3 VerpackG. https://www.verpackungsregister.org/fileadmin/files/Mindeststandard/Mindeststandard_VerpackG_Ausgabe_2022.pdf (accessed on 22/06/2023) 10. https://www.bpb.de/kurz-knapp/lexika/das-junge-politik-lexikon/321523/oekologischer-fussabdruck/ (accessed on 22/06/2023) 11 KNOWLEDGE