A.I.S.E. Product Stewardship Programme for Liquid Laundry Detergent Capsules (12/2012)

The Product Stewardship Programme (PSP) for Liquid Laundry Detergent Capsules is a voluntary initiative of A.I.S.E., launched at the end of 2012. The programme is now closed for signature; companies can no longer sign up, but a new voluntary industry PSP for Liquid Detergent Capsules has been launched on 1 March 2015. 

The PSP for Liquid Laundry Detergent Caspsules complements industry voluntary safety and sustainability projects and campaigns such as the Safe Use Icons and the Charter for Sustainable Cleaning. Through this initiative, A.I.S.E. and its members want to secure safe use and storage by consumers of liquid laundry detergent capsules. The programme will be implemented in close dialogue with stakeholders and interested bodies.
 

While safe use and storage of any household detergent and maintenance product should be promoted, this programme aims to secure safe use and storage of liquid laundry detergent capsules by consumers to ultimately reduce the incidence of accidental exposure, in particular of small children, to these products. The programme goes beyond the legislative requirements covering these products.
Liquid laundry detergent capsules are a relatively new product form that have been progressively introduced in Europe. They are used daily by millions of consumers across Europe. They help consumers use just the right amount of detergent for their washing needs without waste; and are an effective answer to sustainability with smaller packs and important savings in terms of transport and CO² emissions. 

While they are safe when used as instructed, it is important that they are handled safely and, as any other household cleaning product, kept away from children.

A.I.S.E. is working on the development of a method to measure oral rejection time as a function of the level of aversive agent present in the soluble film. 

Feasibility tests using one representative film grade (made of polyvinyl alcohol) and one specific commonly-used aversive agent (denatonium benzoate) are underway.  The preliminary study protocol for the feasibility tests can be downloaded here 

Companies active in this market sector who wish to obtain more information are invited to contact A.I.S.E. 


Who can participate

The programme is open to any company manufacturing and/or placing liquid laundry detergent capsules on the European market (EU + Iceland, Switzerland, Norway and Liechtenstein), regardless of whether or not they are members of A.I.S.E. or one of its national associations. 

We would like to clarify that for this project which specifically deals with consumer safety, manufacturers are at the forefront of committing to the PSP and it is encouraged and understood that manufacturers sign the Commitment Letter. Where a retailer expresses interest, the retailer can also sign the Commitment Letter. While this does not replace the intent for the own label manufacturer to sign, A.I.S.E. considers that active support by retailers can only strengthen the project and contribute to its success, by putting behind it the weight of actors at different levels of the supply chain.

The programme covers liquid laundry detergent capsules; this includes auxiliary laundry washing products and is being implemented from December 2012 onwards.

The commitment

The Liquid Laundry Detergent Capsules Product Stewardship Programme has been developed by A.I.S.E. members and is being implemented from 15 December 2012 onwards. Its main pillars include activities related to:

Product
Participating companies commit to reduce the visibility of liquid laundry detergent capsules by making packaging obscure or opaque, or any equivalent measure. Pack closures should be designed to discourage, delay or otherwise impede the ability of small children to open the pack.
 
Product Information
Participating companies commit to reinforce guidance on the safe use and storage of liquid laundry detergent capsules by taking part in consumer communication activities. A toolkit is made available by A.I.S.E. and its network.

In addition, companies shall reinforce on-pack communication. In particular, consumers will find the two safe use icons "keep away from children" and "close the lid/bag properly" together with the phrase "handle and store safely" clearly displayed on the outer packaging of the products in accordance with specific requirements.

Engagement with Poison Control Centres
Participating companies commit to engaging with Poison Control Centres and the European Association of Poison Centers and Clinical Toxicologists to enable better information exchange and monitoring of accidents.

Detergent capsules "ACCIDENTOLOGY” final report (Published November 2015)

In order to understand the root causes for accidental exposures to detergent capsules especially involving young children and building on a commitment made as part of this Product Stewardship Programme, A.I.S.E. partnered with five Poison Control Centres (PCCs) to conduct a qualitative ‘accidentology’ research study. 
The PCCs are based in Dublin (IE), Göttingen (DE), Milan (IT), Prague (CZ) and Utrecht (NL).They serve a combined population of approximately 90 million inhabitants. The study scope covered all detergent capsules (laundry, dishwasher and others) contained in a water-soluble film. Over a 6-month period, starting in autumn 2014, details of incident circumstances of 401 cases were systematically collected. Most accidental exposures (82%) involved liquid laundry capsules, while 16% of cases involved automatic dishwashing (ADW) capsules. 
The final ‘accidentology’ report released by A.I.S.E. and five European Poison Control Centres, including results, key learnings and recommendations from Poison Control Centers, is available here.

The study shows that 66% of incidents involved capsules or packs that were directly accessible to a child i.e. capsules or packs not safely stored. In 44% of cases, the exposed child managed to take a capsule from a container.



More information/to participate

For more information on the Product Stewardship Programme for Liquid Laundry Detergent Capsules, please consult the full project description below. If you wish to participate in the programme, please return the commitment letter signed, with annexes filled in, to the A.I.S.E. team (contact Christine Boudet, Boulevard du Souverain 165, 1160 Brussels, Belgium). 

For any further information, please contact A.I.S.E. or its national associations.


Partners participating/Progress



Reports

To access the liquid detergent capsules communication toolkit please click here

"Keep Caps from Kids" Communication campaign, to find out more click here