Cleaning is Not a Dirty Word (But the Cleaning Industry Is)
The cleaning industry has a dirty secret. All those products you see at the supermarket that tell you they are free from ‘nasty’ chemicals or that they are environmentally friendly cleaners… are not necessarily true. So how can you tell what is genuinely eco-friendly and safe?
Reading Labels Doesn’t Always Work
NZ’s labelling laws on cleaning products aren’t that strict. The manufacturer can claim their product’s ingredients are good for the environment, yet not include a list of all ingredients, meaning you have no way of verifying their claims. A well-known international brand claims that their product is 100% recyclable, using natural orange oil… yet the label doesn’t list all the ingredients, nor the percentage of ‘natural orange oil’.
Environmental Claims are a Marketing Ploy
Those ‘natural’ cleaning products you buy, with lovely earth- coloured labels and claims of being ‘green’ and ‘natural’… have incomplete label information. They absolutely do not back up any of their claims of being ammonia/ phosphate/ chlorine free. These labels are created to make you buy their product.
NZ’s Labelling Standards for Environmentally Friendly Cleaners are Lax
NZ has an ‘ecolabel’ brand that you’ll all be familiar with. The tick shows you’re making an environmentally friendly choice. But these standards allow use of palm oil, and manufactured fragrances (although they do not allow nitromusk or polycyclic musk compounds).
Why Is This So Important?
Because bleach and ammonia can cause respiratory diseases such as COPD. Artificial fragrances have been found to be endocrine disruptors and possibly carcinogenic. The lack of labelling requirements mean that almost anything can have claims to be ‘natural’ or good for the environment, yet but potentially toxic and harmful.
Our products are honest. Our packaging lists our ingredients and we say what we mean (and mean what we say). We don’t use artificial fragrances. We don’t use palm oil. But our products are effective, smell great, and are eco-positive.