There is a need for a more sustainable laundry detergent, and a group of companies working with laundry products has researched a more eco-friendly alternative. One of the companies, called Frey, has designed dissolvable detergent sheets making sure environmentally harmful materials could be replaced.
“Our hope is that we can eliminate our liquid laundry detergent,” says Leif Frey, co founder and head of direction at Frey, to FastCompany.
“When we first started out as a small brand, we were a concentrated detergent with just a greener formulation,” he says. “Stage two of the brand was that we offer a much more concentrated formulation, but still in plastic. Our more recent movement was the same product but now in post consumer-recycled plastic. Then we’ve been working on this product for the last year or so. The goal is that it catches on enough where we push everybody into this product and kind of phase out the liquid entirely.”
Do not ship a lot of water
The laundry detergent that people typically use has a few flaws. First of all, the amount of plastic used for packaging the liquid is enormous. Also, the detergent contains a lot of water, making the product heavy and increasing the carbon emission when moving it around the logistic network/supply network. Some of the regular liquid detergents contain 80% water.
“You’re now shipping a very heavy liquid all around the world when it’s completely unnecessary to be doing so,” Frey says. “Your washing machine is right there—just let your machine add water instead of shipping water.”
Frey chose to make their detergent into sheets because it eliminates water and plastic completely. Their sheets are made from naturally derived ingredients, and they add starch and proteins to hold the thin sheets together. They later dissolve completely in the washing machine. The product is packed in small cardboard boxes with a bag of compostable plastic to protect the product.
Wants the whole industry to be more sustainable
Leif Frey hopes the whole industry moves toward eco-friendly laundry detergent even though he wishes for his company to be at the forefront.
“We obviously want to be kind of at the forefront of this movement,” he says. “But at the end of the day, the end goal is the same. We would prefer the industry to just be far more sustainable.”
Innovative solutions that focus on being eco-friendly can help a greener, and more sustainable future come sooner.