• Ecover: 30 Years in the Phosphates-Free Frame Of Mind

    Jul 27, 2010 | By David

    Pond Choked with Algae

    Image via Wikimedia Commons

    Phosphates are a prime pollutant of streams and lakes, even damaging The Historic Chesapeake Bay. Although phosphorus is an important nutrient found in nature, excessive phosphates in bodies of water spur the growth of algae and aquatic weeds. When algae decompose, toxins are released, using up oxygen available for aquatic life and destroying the health of those lakes and streams. Consumers primarily know phosphates as a traditional ingredient in detergents.

    Ecover has known for years that waste from detergents with phosphates turn beautiful clear lakes and rivers green and cloudy making them unfit for swimming and making drinking water more expensive to filter. Excess algal also leads to devastation called Eutrophication, where dead organic matter eventually turns vital water-ways to dry land.

    Lake with Excessive Algae Growth

    Image via treehugger.com

    In 2004 legislation was passed in Great Britain to prevent the use of more that 0.5% phosphates in laundry powder; in the USA sixteen states have mandatory regulations regarding phosphates in dishwasher detergents, but both laws are short of an outright phosphates ban, and Ecover knows it’s not good enough. So we continue to lead the way with our range of washing powders, liquid soaps and cleaners––all phosphate-free (as well as chlorine-free).

    Of course, elimination of phosphates is only one aspect of Ecover’s mission. Low aquatic toxicity is important, but our products must also compete with the leading brands in terms of effectiveness. We navigate many environmental, social and scientific considerations: selecting the best raw materials to facilities and production excellence and distribution standards––right to the end job, where Ecover products completely degrade.

    As one of the world’s best known brands for ecological cleaning products, our strict criteria provides a powerful model as we balance responsibility with efficacy.  And no phosphates. It’s how we do business.

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