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:
- 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.