A California woman claims in a proposed class action lawsuit that Costco’s Kirkland Signature branded dish soap and laundry detergent are not 'environmentally responsible' despite their labels’ claims.
A California woman claims in a proposed class action lawsuit that Costco’s Kirkland Signature branded dish soap and laundry detergent are not “environmentally responsible” despite their labels’ claims. The suit argues that the products contain “unnatural, harmful, and toxic” chemicals – such as sodium hydroxide, sodium lauryl sulfate, lauramine oxide, and methylisothiazolinone – and provide no environmental benefit over traditional soap and detergent products.
Filed against Costco Wholesale Corporation, the lawsuit alleges the Kirkland Signature products, besides claiming to be “environmentally responsible,” boast that they are made from “naturally derived ingredients,” are “recognized for safer chemistry,” are “safer for the planet,” and use a “biodegradable formula.” Along with these claims, the suit continues, the products’ labels display “highly suggestive” imagery, such as water drops and leaves, that are meant to imply to consumers that the soap and detergent are non-toxic and won’t harm the environment the way “traditional” products would.
The case claims the defendant’s representations are false, as the products contain ingredients known to be toxic and hazardous to the environment. Citing guidance from several national and international environmental groups, the suit argues that no reasonable consumer would expect products advertised as “environmentally responsible” to contain chemicals such as the ones listed in the complaint. The lawsuit notes that Costco has “profited enormously” by appealing to consumers’ desire to protect the environment and falsely representing that its Kirkland Signature products are safer than competing soaps and detergents.