An important change to Accord’s Phosphorus Standard for Household Laundry Products will take place on 22 March, 2024: the ‘retirement’ of the P logo.
Accord’s national Phosphorus Standard establishes sector-wide benchmarks for phosphorus content in household laundry detergents. It has formed part of the laundry industry’s contribution to protecting Australia’s precious waterways since 1994.
The ‘P’ and ‘NP’ on-pack logos have become well-known identifiers of products that meet the requirements of the Standard and provide a clear indicator to consumers who wish to take phosphorus content into account when they make a purchasing decision. The Standard originally set a maximum of 7.8 g phosphorus per wash (denoted by the ‘P’ logo) and also allowed for the labelling of products containing negligible phosphorus (< 0.5%, via the ‘NP’ logo).
Now, to reflect the significant and industry-wide shift in household laundry detergent formulations away from phosphorus-containing ingredients, the ‘P’ logo will be retired. The revised Accord Phosphorus Standard will establish the sector-wide benchmark for household laundry detergents as negligible phosphorus content (< 0.5%, ‘NP’).
This is an important step that recognises the extensive innovation and commitment to ongoing improvement by household laundry manufacturers and that reflects the current state of the household laundry products market in Australia.
Manufacturers still need to apply to Accord for a licence to use the ‘NP’ logo on their laundry detergent products.
For more information, please see the Phosphorus Standard P logo retirement Q&A.
Phosphorus is an essential plant nutrient. However, it can contribute to eutrophication if it becomes overabundant in aquatic environments, particularly inland waterways. Eutrophication is a process whereby a combination of conditions – nutrient availability, light, warm water temperature, low flow rate and turbidity – can trigger increased aquatic plant growth. The result can be blue-green algae blooms, which can negatively impact other aquatic life and the waterway’s ecosystem.
Laundry detergents are one minor source of phosphorus that can reach inland waterways (see www.furphies.org.au/laundry-detergents-and-phosphorus.html for more information).