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Tide Purclean

Laundry detergent's "plant-based" claims come under scrutiny.

A description on the back of Tide purclean laundry detergent read: “A powerful, plant-based clean you can feel good about.”

But how would you feel if the laundry detergent was only 75 percent plant-based and the remaining 25 percent consisted of non-plant-based ingredients, including some derived from petroleum?

You might feel a little misled.

Last month, the National Advertising Division (NAD) recommended and Tide agreed to modify its plant-based claims to avoid conveying the unsupported message that the laundry detergent is 100 percent plant-based or that the “powerful cleaning power” is derived solely from plant-based ingredients.

Of note, Tide does not readily identify the petroleum-based ingredients in its purclean laundry detergent on its U.S. site but the company’s Canadian website (ending in .ca) offers a helpful chart that puts ingredients “in simpler terms.” This includes three ingredients that the Canadian site classifies as petroleum-based.

A week after NAD posted its decision, a class-action lawsuit was filed against Tide’s parent company Procter & Gamble over its plant-based claims for the purclean laundry detergent.

Find more of our coverage on greenwashing here.


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