January
31 - 2008

Why concentrated detergent helps

I’ve been sooo busy, so just a couple of quickie posts this week.

This one was also found in Redbook in January — an article that was surely based on a public relations effort by Procter & Gamble, about why smaller bottles of laundry detergent are a good thing.

PR notwithstanding, the statistics are amazing. By late spring, Procter & Gamble (maker of Tide, Cheer, Dreft, Era and Gain) will eliminate large detergent bottles and switch completely to concentrated versions of its detergents.

The results of the switch, purely from the perspective of the bottles’ environmental impact, will be huge:

  • 35% less water.
  • 43% less plastic (equivalent to about 2 billion plastic shopping bags each year).
  • Total packaging reduction equivalent to the municipal solid waste of 40,000 people per year (about 32,000 tons, according to Redbook’s garbage data).
  • Greenhouse-gas reduction equal to the annual emissions of 40,000 cars (that’s as if 16,000 households gave up their average 2.5 cars).

Of course, it’s also a good idea to pay attention to what’s inside the detergent bottle — making sure it has as few chemicals, brighteners, whiteners and especially phosphates as possible. But for the United States and the environment as a whole, smaller bottles are at least one helpful step.

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