In 2008, sales of natural personal care and household products increased by 8.4 percent, according to the April 2009 Nutrition Business Journal. But, the parallel increase in "greenwashing" points to a need for a credible third-party certification of these products. Shoppers are confused and frustrated by false and misleading claims and indecipherable ingredient lists on labels. It was with this in mind that Green Seal Inc., the premier independent ecolabel in the United States, developed the first life-cycle based standard for consumer soaps. After 18 months in development, Green Seal is excited to announce the release of its Environmental Leadership Standard for Soaps, Cleansers and Shower Products, GS-44.
GS-44 is the first standard to comprehensively address the health, environmental and labeling concerns for soaps, cleansers, shampoo and conditioners for adults, children and infants. Now companies offering truly sustainable personal care products can apply for certification to back up their claims.
The new standard prohibits carcinogens, mutagens, reproductive toxins and other known health hazards. To reduce environmental impact, products must be biodegradable, not contain ingredients containing phosphorus and their packaging be source reduced. In addition, the standard requires that the package include a list of all ingredients in the product and defines common claims made on the label such as natural, organic and bio-based.
"The Green Seal on a product label makes it easier for shoppers to identify products without harmful ingredients," said Dr. Cheryl Baldwin, vice-president of standards for Green Seal. "It serves as a reassurance to consumers that the product works as well as or better than its non-green counterpart, and is truly a safer product."
For more information about new standard, visit: www.greenseal.org/certification/GS-44_shower_and_soap.cfm.