Feedstock Greenwashing

The Unsustainable Feedstock of Neste

Let's have a look at the feedstock used by Neste. Is it sustainable or is it greenwashing?

On their website, Neste claims to be using following feedstock (Wide variety of renewable raw materials) :

  • used cooking oil 
  • animal fat from food industry waste
  • vegetable oil processing waste and residues (e.g., palm fatty acid distillate, spent bleaching earth oil, palm effluent sludge)
  • fish fat from fish processing waste
  • technical corn oil (a residue from ethanol production)

Is this Sustainable?

  • Used Cooking Oil 

Used cooking oils are not sustainable. Why? There’s a lot of fraud in the EU concerning used cooking oil; they’re mixed with palm oil (One Third of Used Cooking Oil in Europe is Fraudulent and EU Will Limit Usage). Used cooking oil include plant, animal, or synthetic fat. Synthetic oil means from fossil origin and this is in contradiction to bio-based plastics.

  • Animal content or fat

The animal business is filthy and dirty. Animal content (or animal fat) should be excluded from your bioplastic feedstock and you should go for “vegan” bioplastic.

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“Food industry waste” is a greenwashing term to refer to slaughterhouses. We could write a book about: Animal Health and Rights vs slaughterhouses. It’s difficult to include”slaughterhouses” in the same sentence as “morally acceptable” and “ecologically sustainable”.

In this case, animal fats are the leftovers of the slaughterhouses that nobody wants because it’s not edible or it cannot be converted into something edible.

We’re not talking about Swiss bio farmers living in the mountains but about industrial slaughterhouses killing millions of animals every year. It includes “pork”; tell that to muslim and jewish communities; and” beef”; tell that to Indian communities (Would You Like Pork in Your Bioplastics?). Wouldn’t it be the world upside down if animal fats are used as feedstock to produce vegan food packaging?

Meat and dairy companies are the world’s biggest contributors to climate change, outpacing even the fossil fuel industry (read the article)

  • Palm oil

There’s no such thing as “sustainable palm oil. Greenwashing will involve all kinds of inventive words to hide the use of palm oil or make it “politically” correct.

Palm oil will be greenwashed into words such as vegetable oil, palm oil related waste and residues, palm fatty acid distillate, spent bleaching earth oil, palm effluent sludge, etc.

Palm oil business is a major cause of deforestation. Animal species lose their habitat because of deforestation. Deforestation is the primary threat to orangutans for instance.

Read: Palm Oil and The Bioplastics Industry

  • Fish

Industrial fishing has been responsible for harmful environmental impacts. Overfishing can deplete resources, many animals like dolphins and sea turtles are products of bycatch, and the massive vessels used require large amounts of CO2-producing fuel (read more)

  • Corn oil

When you speak about ‘corn” as a bioplastic feedstock, you have to mention the “fuel vs food” issue.

Lobbying for Renewable Feedstock

Neste is pushing for the concept of “Renewable” feedstock instead of “Biobased” feedstock. There’s a reason for this. It’s called “greenwashing” strategy.

Neste and Biofuels

Neste is a major player in the biofuel industry. Although the word “biofuel” may sound sustainable, “bio”-fuels are not!

Replacing fossil fuels with biofuels is not a sustainable solution.

  1. The real solution is to get rid of internal combustion engines. Electric engines are a good alternatives.
  2. Combustion of (bio)fuel is like the incineration of plastics. We burn it. It’s a linear and not a circular process.
  3. The current biofuel production should be multiplied by 37 to meet our fossil fuel consumption. This will lead to environmental and social harm.
  4. Biofuel goes hand in hand with intensive farming (Sustainable vs Intensive Farming )

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