NEW STANDARD TO ALLAY CONSUMER CONCERNS
Consumers’ concerns about the use of palm oil, toxic chemicals and greenwashing in personal care products like shampoos and cosmetics have been addressed through the release of a new environmental standard by Good Environmental Choice Australia (GECA).
“Greater awareness has resulted in more consumers questioning what goes in to our personal care products,” said GECA’s CEO Rupert Posner.
“For example, there is increased knowledge of the extensive use of palm oil in many products and that while it is a cheap and practical product for manufactures, its use can have a significant environmental impact.”
GECA’s new environmental standard, which covers toiletry and personal care products such as soaps, shampoos, oral hygiene products, skin care, cosmetics and deodorants, addresses these and other sustainability issues. It has been developed following extensive consultation and released following a period for public comment and sets a new level for best practice.
“This new standard will enable consumers to have confidence that the personal care products they buy have addressed important health, environmental and sustainability issues. It saves them having to scrutinise a product for a range of issues they may be concerned about.”
Certification against the new standard also makes it easier for manufacturers, knowing they can market the environmental benefits of their products with confidence.
The standard includes, among others, criteria to:
- advance the use of sustainable palm oil
- limit volatile organic compounds (VOCs)
- ban hazardous substances such as carcinogens, nanoparticles and sensitisers
- make sure environmental claims are verified and clear to discourage greenwashing
- address waste minimisation during the products manufacture as well as promote more environmentally friendly packaging
“There is no reason why consumers can’t have products that meet their personal care needs and are less toxic to them and kinder on the environment. GECA certified products achieve this,” said Posner.
“If your favourite product doesn’t have the GECA tick, then ask the retailer or manufacturer to get it certified.”
Good Environmental Choice Australia (GECA) is an independent, not for profit organisation whose mission is to transform the actions of business and consumers to drive a substantial increase in the sustainability of consumption. It does this by running the country’s only transparent and independently audited multi-sector green certification program. The lifecycle based ecolabel or “GECA tick” was established to encourage the development of sustainable goods and services and now provides public access to more than 2000 certified products. GECA’s ecolabelling program is built on ISO 14024 principles, offering global best practice in product certification.