Two Ways To GreenWash

Laundry is in the news this week in Sweden: the government announced that it is banning the use of phosphates in all new laundry detergents starting in March 2008 - old supplies must be cleared from store shelves by next August.

That's good news for the Baltic Sea, which is fighting eutrophication mainly caused by the phosphates coming from detergents and fertilizers. Sweden already filters out phosphates from outgoing city water, but more than 700,000 homes aren't connected to municipal supplies. Also the country said it needs to set a good example for other Baltic nations where filtering is less or non-existent. But just as in the U.S., phosphate rules don't yet extend to dishwasher soaps, another important source of phosphates.

In the meantime, appliance behemoth Electrolux announced that switching out home appliances older than 10 years old could save the EU nations 18 million tons of CO2 emissions, and asked governments to somehow subsidize consumers' purchase of more energy-efficient models. That seems a dubious approach - how about Electrolux instead going back to the old idea of "pay-per-wash" services, or even manufacturing a really innovative idea like the compact E-wash designed by Hungarian Levente Szab to skip the detergent altogether and optimize use soap nuts to clean clothes. There's always more than one way to green wash. Via ::Newsdesk.se (Swedish)

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