PROCTER & GAMBLE (P&G) has announced it will completely remove phosphates from its Fairy brand of dishwashing tablets by 2017.
Phosphates present an environmental risk as their two main uses are in fertilisers and detergents and end up in lakes and rivers, causing contamination by encouraging excessive algae growth. Phosphate supplies are also under threat as at current production levels, known phosphorous mines will be depleted in less than 80 years. P&G says the move will save the use of 14,000 t/y of phosphates.
This announcement comes off the back of new European Commission legislation stating that from 1 January 2017, dishwasher soaps will be limited to a phosphorus content of 0.3 g/dose. P&G say their plan goes beyond the legislation as most markets around the world do not regulate phosphate levels in dishwasher tablets. The company said its brand is “doing its part to care for the environment.”
P&G say the current formula will be replaced with a new product with greater cleaning abilities and has the potential to save up to 21bn l/y of water globally, equivalent to around 9,000 Olympic-sized swimming pools. The figure is based on a UK survey that said 91% of consumers pre-rinse dishes before cleaning.
George Tsourapas, global home care president at P&G, said: “I’m proud we have been able to make it easier for everyone to conserve precious resources without compromising on Fairy’s cleaning ability.”
The company previously announced it was to remove phosphates from its other detergent products in 2014. It has reduced phosphate levels in its cleaning products by 95% since 2005.
14,000 t of phosphate would cover an area the size of 270,000 football pitches.
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