From soaps to body lotions to shampoos, consumers are increasingly drawn to personal care products that are labeled "green" or environmentally-friendly, a fast-growing market that chalks-up an estimated $4 billion in sales per year worldwide. Despite the hype over these products, there's growing confusion by consumers and manufacturers alike over what it really means to be labeled as "green," according to an article scheduled for publication in Chemical & Engineering News.
Written by C&EN Senior Correspondent Marc Reisch, the cover story points out that there's no universal consensus over what is green, organic, or sustainable. To the detriment of consumers, manufacturers sometimes produce misleading labels in an effort to cash-in on the hype, the article notes. Some manufacturers have even begun to certify their products as green under a variety of different standards and criteria or using different certifying bodies.
But change may be around the corner. Some groups in the U.S. and abroad are now working on establishing clearer standards for personal care products. Notes Reisch: "Unless ingredient makers and formulators sort out their differences, the subject of what is natural, organic, and sustainable may have to be sorted out in a court of law."
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