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Environmental standard introduced to ease Oz consumers’ concerns

By Andrew McDougall+

25-Jun-2013

Environmental standard introduced to ease Oz consumers’ concerns

Not-for-profit organisation Good Environmental Choice Australia (GECA) has released a new environmental standard for personal care and cosmetics products to ease consumer concerns over the use of palm oil, toxic chemicals and greenwashing.

“Greater awareness has resulted in more consumers questioning what goes in to our personal care products,” says 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.”

Confidence

The new environmental standard, which covers personal care and cosmetics products, addresses the aforementioned issues and other sustainability issues.

GECA says 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,” adds Posner.

Criteria

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,” says the GECA chief.

“If your favourite product doesn’t have the GECA tick, then ask the retailer or manufacturer to get it certified.”

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