Why are laundry detergents bad for the environment?
We have to start by saying, not all laundry detergents are bad for the environment. As an eco-friendly brand, we like to tell everyone about what we’ve excluded from our laundry detergent formulas. But some people ask us ‘what’s so bad about those nasty ingredients?’. So here’s a roundup of some of the most common ingredients found in Laundry detergents and why they’re not so great for the environment.
Biodegradability – Speaks for itself really. When spent water is washed into the drains, it’s important that the laundry liquid degrades as quickly as possible. Eco-friendly brands like us, we make sure the ingredient we use degrade very quickly, so there’s nothing to accumulate in our water system and waterways.
Micro-plastics – Now these aren’t contained in laundry liquids, but they are a big environmental concern during laundry washing. During the wash, your laundry is thrown around a lot and synthetic are damaged and tiny plastic particles get washed away with the waste water. This is why we suggest using a delicate washing cycle for everyday laundering (Less vigorous cycle) and a detergent that’s a little more delicate, like ours.
Optical Brighteners – You find these in many laundry detergents. They’re tiny little bits that attach to your clothes and reflect the sun’s UVA rays. This makes your whites appear whiter. Optical brighteners can irritate peoples skin, but it’s also believed they bioaccumulate in our water ways causing eutrophication – out of control algae growth and suffocate fish! They’re also so tiny, that they may pass through our water treatment facilities – not very eco-friendly!
Phosphates – Similar to optical brighteners, phosphates can also cause big algae blooms and starve fish. Wilton London laundry care range is phosphate free and helps keep our waters clear.
Chlorine Bleach – Many powdered laundry detergents use chlorine bleach for whitening. Most research suggests that bleach degrades quite well and concentration in waste waters is low. But, production of this kind of bleach is not great. Chlorine bleach is from the organochlorine family. This family of bleaches takes a long time to decompose and get stuck in our waterways. Buy purchasing products with Chlorine bleach, we are supporting this industry.
Dyes – Dyes look pretty, but they may be contaminated by heavy metals like arsenic and lead! And they may penetrate the skin after washing or leave behind impurities. And at the end of the day, they’re pretty useless and serve no cleaning purpose to washing your laundry.
If you want to minimise your impact on the environment when you’re doing the laundry, choose an eco-friendly laundry liquid like ours, Wilton London. We don't use any of the bad ingredients above and we take the time to make sure our ingredients responsibly sourced.