By Mike Verespej, Plastics News Staff
New York -- The misconceptions among consumers of what terms like bio-based and biodegradable mean pose challenges for companies putting labels on their products and their packaging.
"There are two huge misconceptions," said Steve Mojo, executive director of the Biodegradable Products Institute, at the recent Bioplastek conference in New York.
"Eighty-five percent of consumers think that bio-based/renewable also means biodegradable, and 60 percent think biodegradable products magically disappear when you throw it away," he said. "So the message has to be clear on the package and/or your website -- wherever you expect the consumer to look.
"The challenge all companies will face will be finding a way on the packaging to convey their message -- especially when people are buying the product, not the packaging," he said. "It is confusing to consumers and it is going to get more so as many people don't understand what those words really mean."
Part of the blame for the confusion must go back to the companies because many company messages focus on product features, not the consumer benefits, he said.
"Companies say things like biodegradable, made from corn, or made from renewable resources, instead of talking to the consumers about the benefits" of the packaging, Mojo said.
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