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We are Australia's leading consumer organisation with over 160,000 members.
Set up by consumers for consumers, CHOICE is the consumer advocate that provides Australians with information and advice, free from commercial bias.
As vital today as when we were founded in 1959, CHOICE continues to fight for consumers and uncover the truth.
By mobilising Australia’s largest and loudest consumer movement, CHOICE fights to hold industry and government accountable and achieve real change on the issues that matter most.
CHOICE doesn't accept advertising or sponsorship. This means we can uncover the truth about everyday consumer issues and provide practical advice to help consumers cut through the crap.
CHOICE is Australia's largest source of expert reviews. Based on unbiased analysis and rigorous testing, we help consumers compare products and services and select what’s best for them.
Greenwash is deceptive marketing designed to portray a company or product as caring for the environment.
CHOICE is campaigning to make sure green claims are honest and useful, because consumers should be able to sort the true green products from the greenwash.
Please note: this information was current as of May 2008 but is still a useful guide today.
The trick with green 'spin' is that you won’t always be able to tell you've been duped. You might even suspect something’s wrong, when in fact it’s legitimate. We need better regulation of green claims, but in the meantime here’s what you can do to minimise your risk of being greenwashed.
No distractions Think about the impact of the product itself. It’s great if the packet is recyclable or biodegradable too, but it’s not the main point. Ignore green pictures and unofficial logos.
Specific and precise Look for precise claims that explain and give evidence. For example, high percentages and guaranteed minimums of post-consumer recycled content.
Full ingredients Listing of all ingredients in plain English, not just the active ingredients required by law. Plain English is notably lacking in the ingredients labelling of many cleaners and personal care products.
Whole lifecycle Look for evidence that the whole life of the product is handled with care, not just one part of it. Emphasis on one technical aspect (such as 'biodegradable') might be masking a poor environmental performance in other areas.
Third party certified To relevant Australian or ISO standards (International Standards Organisation) or other recognised schemes. For example, certification to ISO14001 is about ongoing improvement to the company’s environmental management processes; it doesn’t guarantee the product has a low environmental impact.
Helpful contact info Be suspicious if there’s no robust evidence of the green claim on the pack and no easy way to obtain it when you get home. Don’t support a manufacturer that doesn’t want you to be able to find out more about them.
Video: The Green Shopping Challenge
Just how easy is it to shop green? We send four secret shoppers to find out.
27 Mar 2013
Supermarkets spend millions researching consumer behaviour and psychology to get you to buy more in their stores - we give you the tips and traps.
19 Sep 2008
A colour-coded traffic lights system, first developed by the UK Food Standards Agency, has been suggested as a more useful tool for helping consumers to make healthier food choices.
20 Jan 2009
Food labelling can be a minefield of confusion and misinformation. Labelling legislation offers some relief, but often isn't sufficiently enforced.
17 Oct 2007
From gourmet chocolates to beauty products, an increasing number of consumer goods are buried in layers of packaging these days.
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