The lists of ingredients in personal care products can be as long as they are confusing. Even if you work with these products regularly, it’s easy to come across soap, sanitisers, body washes and shampoos with no clear information on how they were made or what they are made from. This is the reason that certifications like the GECA ecolabel are all the more valuable. Products and services labelled as certified by GECA can be guaranteed to have met the organisation’s strict ethical and environmental standards. Here’s a guide to what the GECA standards mean when it comes to personal care products.

No Harmful Substances

It might seem counterintuitive that a product designed to care for your customers could contain substances harmful to their health. But often, a host of hidden detrimental ingredients can be found in soaps, sanitisers, shampoos and the like.

Studies have shown that some of the preservatives, such as parabens, found in these products can cause reproductive issues and genetic mutations. Equally, certain fragrances can spur allergic reactions and respiratory irritation. With the GECA certification, you can be assured that prevention of the use of harmful substances or irritants has been exercised.

Sustainably Sourced Palm Oil

Palm oil has become the most widely used vegetable oil on the planet, and can be found in close to 50% of packaged products – such as detergent, soap and shampoo – in hotels, commercial kitchens and airports, for example.

With high use comes high demand, and with high demand has come irresponsible farming, deforestation, habitat loss and threats to local communities. As such, personal care products that show the GECA label must only contain palm oil that’s been sustainably sourced.

No Microbeads

Microbeads are tiny pieces of plastic often added to care products, such as body and face washes, to provide exfoliation. In recent years, these single use plastics have been shown to be a hazard to the environment, and in particular to marine life.

The NSW Environment Protection Authority has deemed them harmful due to their composition and ability to attract toxins. GECA limits the use of microbeads and other substances harmful to aquatic environments, but the industry has taken a further approach to not include them at all.

No Phosphorous

The increase in the number and scale of algae blooms in bodies of water has become a growing problem in Australia and further afield. This is often caused by the presence of phosphorous, which is carried into rivers and lakes from industrial sources and urban stormwater run offs, disrupting aquatic ecosystems and their surrounds. GECA-labelled personal care products, therefore, are manufactured without using phosphorous compounds.

Final Factors

In addition, GECA standards encourage the recovery, reuse and recycling of packaging where possible. They also ensure workers throughout the supply chain receive fair pay and work in a safe environment.

The ability to ground your business in sustainable practices is being made easier every day with regulatory bodies such as GECA doing the necessary work to provide clear solutions – read the labels, understand the implications and be part of the common goal.

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