US Procter & Gamble to eliminate phosphates from laundry detergents

07 February 2014 20:20  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--Procter & Gamble (P&G) will eliminate phosphates from all of its laundry detergents within 24 months, the US-based company confirmed this week.

“Our strong commitment to innovation, research and development has allowed us to improve the performance of our laundry products while also [eliminating] phosphates," the company said.

According to public environmental research documents, many US rivers and lakes have experienced high aquatic plant growth since about the mid 1960s, growth that was deleterious to other biologic forms because of expanded oxygen absorption.

High levels of phosphorus, one of several major plant nutrients, were identified as a primary contributor to the aquatic plant growth. One source of effluent phosphorus was identified as coming from phosphates used in laundry detergents, sparking extended environmental controversy on the issue. 

P&G said that it has been gradually reducing its consumption of phosphates since 2005. By the time the current laundry reformulations are implemented, the company will have eliminated close to “half a million metric tons per year compared with peak consumption during calendar year 2005", the company said.

P&G is a major global producer and buyer of fatty alcohols, key ingredients in most detergents and other surfactants.

The company is widely recognized as a primary global manufacturer of consumer products, ranging from Tide laundry detergents to Cover Girl cosmetics.

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By: Judith Taylor
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