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Hurricane Planet Green

Shonky for Storm In A Teacup goes to... Hurricane Planet Green.

shonkys hall of shame 2008
CHOICE staff
CHOICE staff


Checked for accuracy by our qualified fact-checkers and verifiers. Find out more about fact-checking at CHOICE.

The environment is hot, and not only because of the changing climate – it's a hot topic. 

Consumer awareness of green issues has increased, and products can get a marketing edge by being greener than others – or being perceived as greener.

Enter greenwash, the art of making vague, irrelevant or unsubstantiated environmental claims. 

One of the finest examples we found was this Colgate-Palmolive multipurpose cleaner. 

There's not only the bold name. 

Under "Caring for our environment", the label lists the product's green credentials:

  • Phosphate-free
  • Biodegradable
  • Recyclable packaging
  • Australian made

We say: Irrelevant; false impression. Why?

  • Phosphates aren't a common ingredient in multipurpose cleaners.
  • The biodegradability relates only to the cleaning agents, not the whole product – which is no different from a range of cleaners and not as good as some.
  • While the Hurricane's bottle is recyclable, its trigger isn't. There are other cleaners whose bottle and trigger head are recyclable.
  • Being Australian-made is no indicator of a product's green performance.

Bottom line: Hurricane doesn't green the planet as its name and claims try to make you believe. 

If you want a really green cleaner, there are better options on the shelf.