Tuesday, March 31, 2015

So, are manufacturers "recommended amounts" ideal?

Can we rely on detergent manufacturers to tell us how much is the ideal amount to use?

A less ethical manufacturer might recommend excessive laundry powder, because their customers would use more that way. So their sales would be bigger.

Detergents also contribute to our failure to keep waters in good quality. So, apart from the wasted resources and consumer money, pollution could also be greater.

Which (www.which.co.uk, formerly the consumer association) "tested a Best Buy [washing] powder [laundry detergent] using 20% less than the recommended amount".

Would it not be more sensible, Which, to objectively test if manufacturers recommendations are truthful as to the ideal amount of washing powder? And publish these as a free public good on the internet, and praise virtuous companies.

Or is this another example of, what economists call, elite capture?