Proctor and Gamble are doing a lot of good things with their products. They seem mindful about the effects off their company’s production, especially being as large of a corporation as they are. However, while Proctor and Gamble is extremely transparent about most of their practices, it’s still difficult to find information about the treatment of their partners that provide them with their chemicals and the workers that make their products.
For this product specifically, the ingredients used made me pause due to their being flagged by the EU. Although only two of the ingredients were flagged, as a consumer it still makes me uneasy due to the more severe effects of other chemicals. Others may not feel this way, however Tide has already proved themselves capable of making other detergents that depend less on chemical ingredients and more on plant-based ingredients.
Alternatively, maybe people can try washing their clothes less, washing their jeans every 3 -4 wears instead of every time they wear them to decrease the number of loads of laundry they do.
For the reasons mentioned above and elaborated on below, I give this product a half planet rating.
Tidepods are made of a number of chemicals. Its ingredients are listed on the website, Smartlabel, which displays information on the purpose of each ingredient as well as the CAS number. A CAS number is a number unique to each chemical substance and is assigned by the Chemical Abstracts Service. However, besides the aforementioned, there is no additional description, leaving it up to the consumer to figure out what exactly is MEA-LAS and if they want that in their detergent. In this specific product, there are chemicals that have been labeled by the EU as respiratory sensitizers ( chemicals that lead to hypersensitivity of the airways following inhalation) and as fragrance allergens.
Tide’s decision to use solely synthetic ingredients for this product remains questionable. While this product doesn’t have any other negative side effects besides the ones I have already listed, many synthetic ingredients have been found to have carcinogenic effects on humans and marine organisms. Especially since Tide has already released a product (Tide purclean) that is made free of dyes, chlorine, phosphates, is 75% plant- based, is USDA certified, and is available unscented, it might be more comforting to the consumer to use more plant-based ingredients.
For its packaging, the bottle is made of 25% or more post consumer recycled plastic, and as of 2019, 88% of P&G packages are considered recyclable (P&G S.R.).
Tide Pods are a product made under Proctor and Gamble (P&G). According to Proctor & Gamble’s Sustainability Report, their factories run on 100% renewable electricity in the U.S., Canada and Western Europe, and 92% of their manufacturing sites are Zero Manufacturing Waste. Furthermore, in 2019 P&G joined test programs with TerraCycle’s Loop platform, a system designed to collect and clean house hold packaging so that it can be put back into circulation, and now, one can go to TerraCycle’s website and find a location to drop off used, empty detergent bottles and boxes to be recycled.
From its product’s creation to its death, P&G seems to be trying to make their product life cycle as sustainable as possible, however I believe that P&G can do better with their packaging and try to increase as much as possible their use of post consumer recycled plastic.
As far as worker treatment goes, P&G appears to be very progressive with their policies on gender equality, diversity and inclusion, racial inequality in America, and the LGBTQ community. P&G also appears to be working with their suppliers to help them become more sustainable and has become a member of the Round table on Sustainable Palm Oil to help their palm oil suppliers implement sustainable agricultural practices. P&G even has a report on how what they’re doing today is supporting each of the U.N.’s Sustainable Development Goals (click here).
While P&G has the right certifications, is saying the right things, and has many different campaigns and charities working towards each of their company policies, it’s still hard for me to determine if what P&G is doing is real. The amount of information, documents, and reports on their website is a little bit overwhelming in its scope, making me wonder if P&G is trying to hide certain information by overwhelming the reader with all of this other information. Especially as such a large, multi national corporation, its not surprising that P&G has so many reports to boast about, but personally, I’d prefer to see a page where they write about what they have failed to do and how they plan on fixing it. As a consumer, acknowledgment of their imperfections would aid me tremendously in the clearing of my suspicions. In short, P&G seems too good to be true, therefore due to my mistrust, I cannot afford them any planets for this section.