Our test of washing powders found that Seventh Generation Natural Laundry Detergent (powder) generates wash water that isn’t safe to use on your garden. The trouble is, it proudly claims on the packet to be ‘safe for septic tanks and grey water systems’. In response, we filed a formal complaint with both the company and the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC). Many consumers joined the action online by emailing the company and the Consumer Affairs Minister, Craig Emerson.
Result: Thanks to CHOICE’s exacting test method, the company has since established that the measuring cup included in its detergent is too large. When a consumer follows the packet instructions and uses the cup provided, it leads to overdosing (90g instead of 76). The resulting higher sodium wash water isn’t suitable for use as grey water on the garden. Seventh Generation has responded to our concerns and will be removing the 'safe for greywater systems' sticker from the front of the pack.
Read more about greenwash and what actions you can take here.