Eco-friendly, organic, sustainability, green, recycled and non-toxic—you have certainly come across these terms when reading about planet-friendly products, practices or brands.
But do you know that they are not always interchangeable?
The term “natural” usually applies to those products that are proposed as alternatives to “traditional” ones. Unfortunately, there is still no Community regulation for the use of the term “natural” as a characteristic of consumer products. However, it is possible to consider as natural those products that have natural active ingredients in their composition.
The term “organic”, on the other hand, is used to indicate agri-food products derived from crops and farms that do not involve the use of synthetic chemicals and genetically modified organisms. All organic products must be strictly controlled and certified by bodies authorized by the Ministry of Agriculture.
The term “eco-friendly” describes a product that has been formulated and developed in such a way as to have a low environmental impact. These are products that don’t harm the planet, use any plastic, are biodegradable and make use of minimum resources to be manufactured.
Often, green and eco-friendly are used interchangeably.
Sustainability goes a step ahead. A sustainable product or practice is not just green or eco-friendly but also conscious about the future. In addition to being eco-friendly, such products can be reused over a long period of time, eliminating the need to purchase new products frequently. Carrying a glass or steel bottle everywhere instead of purchasing a mineral water bottle is a classic example of sustainability.