Rating: Not great
- Many ingredients are readily biodegradable
- Contains some ingredients with low aquatic toxicity
- Available in large size, minimising packaging
- Has ingredients with high aquatic toxicity that are not readily biodegradable
- Multiple other ingredients are toxic to aquatic life
- Contains EDTA
Fudge Professional is a hair product brand. They focus on products that allow users to experiment and express themselves. The brand is owned by PZ Cussons, which owns various consumer goods brands in Australia and New Zealand.
Their Blonde Violet Toning Shampoo comes in two sizes; 300 mL and 1 L. This is good, because being able to buy in bulk can minimise the amount of packaging that needs to be used. The plastic that is used to package the 1 L variation is also relatively easy to recycle in most kerbside programs. Unfortunately, recycling the plastic used in the 300 mL variation can be a bit more difficult.
Most of the main ingredients in this product are soap type chemicals. These are all readily biodegradable, but are also all toxic or very toxic to aquatic life. Because they are readily biodegradable, a large amount of these chemicals will break down during waste water treatment. However, a small amount will still be released to the environment.
Some of these soap ingredients are often derived from palm oil. PZ Cussons is working towards their own “palm oil promise”. It is difficult to determine how well this matches other third party palm oil agreements. At this stage, the company appears to have a high focus on knowing the source and supply chain. This is a good thing, but it would be better if they were also working on purchasing palm oil from certified sources.
Another main ingredient, and some of the minor ingredients, are types of silicones. Based on the information that is available for these chemicals, it looks like they will not readily biodegrade. There is limited data about their toxicity to aquatic life, but it is likely to be low.
Some ingredients in this product are not readily biodegradable and very toxic to aquatic life. These are a para-aminobenzoic acid (PABA) derivative, a conditioning agent, and iodopropynyl butylcarbamate (IPBC), which is a preservative. Because they are not readily biodegradable, a large amount of these chemicals will be released to the environment where they can cause harm to plants and animals. Ideally, these chemicals would be avoided.
Many of the other minor ingredients are also preservatives. Some, such as sodium benzoate and phenoxyethanol, are good choices, being readily biodegradable and having low aquatic toxicity. A few are toxic to aquatic life but readily biodegradable – similar to the main soap ingredients. However, other preservatives include diazolidinyl urea (which quickly breaks down to release formaldehyde, a chemical that is toxic to aquatic life) and tetrasodium ETDA (which is not readily biodegradable and can disturb normal metal concentrations).
This product also contains silica. Silica is very common in the environment and release to waste water should have a low environmental impact. But silica is commonly obtained from sand, which is mined. Sand mines can cause erosion and habitat degradation, and are often unregulated. It would be good to have more information on where the silica in this product comes from, but companies very rarely provide (or even have) this information.
The fragrances in this product are not identified. This means they could be almost anything, so there is no way to tell what their impact on the environment could be. The violet colour of the shampoo comes from CI 60730, which is also known as Acid Violet 43. This chemical is not readily biodegradable and harmful to fish and algae.
But does it work?
Considering how well a product works is a big factor in determining whether a product is a good one or not. A product that does not work is a waste.
Image credit: Life’s a Catwalk