A phosphate-free future


Australia has moved closer to phasing out phosphates in laundry detergents.

Omo have recently committed to go phosphate-free.

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In a week of major developments, Australia has moved far closer to a national phase out of phosphates in laundry detergents.

Coles and Woolworths have announced that they will phase-out laundry phosphates, and Unilever has just released a phosphate-free OMO.

“These are very welcome developments. Australian households perform 1.9 billion washes every year. This switch to phosphate-free laundry detergent is creating positive environmental change at the local household level,” says Jon Dee, founder of Do Something!, the organisation campaigning to phase-out phosphates in all laundry detergents in Australia.

Meanwhile, Coles will remove phosphates from all home brand laundry detergents in 2012. Woolworths will remove phosphates from all private label laundry products by the end of this calendar year.

“These moves are showing that laundry detergents can go phosphate-free at no extra cost to consumers. There’s also no compromise in the quality of the wash. Surely it’s now time to totally phase-out phosphates in laundry detergents?” says Dee.

All three Unilever brands - OMO, Surf and Drive - are now phosphate-free and are currently rolling out in to supermarkets with the ‘NP’ sign on-pack.

"The removal of phosphates from our laundry range is our latest environment-focused innovation," said Sebastian Lazell, Chairman of Unilever Australasia.

“For the OMO range this equates to an approximate 30 per cent reduction in the greenhouse gas footprint of the product, and by simply using new OMO, an Australian household can save 20 kg of CO2 a year.”

“If all Australian households switched to OMO this would save 85,000 tonnes of CO2 in total, or the equivalent of taking 33,000 cars off the road,” said Lazell.

This follows the recent announcement by ALDI that they will stop the sales of all phosphate-based detergents by 2013.