The tiny green label on that piece of luggage en route to JFK says “eco-friendly,” and I’m sure it is. The bag manufacturer probably sourced the cotton for the interior lining from some organic grower. Perhaps the plastic handle is 20% lighter than usual and comes from 60% post-consumer sources. Or maybe the entire carbon footprint of the bag’s supply chain has been offset by planting a fraction of a tree somewhere.
But I have a strong suspicion that the “jetset” tag next to it dwarfs any perceived environmental savings.
We need eco-friendly bags, eco-friendly luggage tags, eco-friendly transport, eco-friendly everything. But most importantly we need policies like the EU’s Aviation Directive that provide a first step to making a real difference, not consumers feeling better about their consumerism because they spot a green sticker on their checked luggage.