Sunday, 7 March 2010

Sainsbury's household products

As I reported here, I wrote to Sainbsury's asking them about the palm oil content of all the household products that I thought I could buy from them to replace any ones that are already (or subsequently become) suspect. Here are the products I asked them about:
  • Sainsbury’s Antibacterial Spray Cleaner
  • Sainsbury’s Washing Up Liquid Lemon
  • Sainsbury’s 2 in 1 Tablets Lavender and Jasmine (for clothes washing)
  • Sainsbury’s Tablet Bio (for clothes washing)
  • Sainsbury’s Tablets Non Bio (for clothes washing)
  • Sainsbury’s Bathroom Cleaner Trigger Spray
  • Sainsbury’s Oven Cleaner
I received a response in the post from Sainsbury's which happily informs me that none of these items contain palm oil or its derivatives.

I have looked again at the Reckitt Benckiser reply, basically, they have just given me a link to a site which lists the products they sell in the UK and you can find a list of ingredients for each one by drilling down. But it's up to me to check whether the ingredients are palm oil or derivatives.

As people who have been reading this blog for a while will realise, manufacturers can be very coy about calling palm oil "palm oil" and use any number of different euphemisms (see the extremely long list to the left!) Plus many of the items are derived from oil, but doesn't have to necessarily be palm oil. So if I find any of the ingredients listed on the website correspond with the list of euphemisms, then I will have to get back to Reckitt Benckiser to find out if those derivatives are from palm oil or some other oil like (for example) coconut oil. Seems a lot of work for me to do (there are eight products on my Reckitt Benckiser list as as Laura found out, it takes ages just to check one single product) Why do these companies have Customer Services departments if they don't provide any kind of service other than a purely perfunctory one?

Sainbsury's and Tesco and many other suppliers are happy to do the checking of their own brand products for their customers and say yes or no, I think if Reckitt Benckiser want me to continue to use their products, they need to do the work and tell me if the products I'm interested in are palm oil free. I have written to them to that effect to give them a final chance to retain my custom on the products that I buy from them:
  • Windowlene original
  • Brasso
  • Cillit Bang Power Cleaner Grime & Lime
  • Dettol Anti-bacterial surface cleaner
  • Dettol Anti-bacterial surface cleaner
  • Finish Powerball
  • Vanish Pre-Wash Stain Stick
  • Vanish Stain Remover Pre-Wash
Some of these products, I am happy to just do without if have to. If I don't get a positive response from Reckitt Benckiser, I'm going to have to do some research on alternative brands of dishwasher tablets because Sainsbury's don't have an own brand on those.

Still haven't heard from Homecare Products about Hob Brite, I've e-mailed them twice now 22 November and 14 February with no reply - time to resort to snail mail!


  1. i think that the world should be free from palm oil since the rain forest has been demolished for this purpose,we are talking about the same size as the all uk in less than a year in asia has been cut out to transform the rain forest into a palm tree sanctuary for the production of diesel and the world,help the animals and at the same time, help yourself.

  2. What about sodium coco sulphate? Is it also a palm oil derivate?