A biotech startup hopes to bring some mojo from green products to a relatively untapped corner of the market: laundry detergent.
Dirty Labs product is non-toxic and made from bio-based enzymes that rapidly biodegrade once washed down the drain.
Traditional detergent technology has changed little over the past century, according to Dirty Labs. A typical mixture of cleaning chemicals, including methylisothia-zolinone and benzi-sothia-zolinone, can harm the environment. Additionally, 1,4-dioxane, which can be found in many laundry detergents, is a probable carcinogen according to to the EPA.
These petroleum-based chemicals are washed directly down the drain, cannot always be removed by filters or water treatment plants, and can penetrate into our groundwater sources.
Dirty labs estimates that Americans manage to make 40 billion loads of laundry each year – the vast majority of which will include at least one of these three ingredients.
“Our team of chemists, biologists and ecologists have raised the bar for safety and sustainability by removing all of California’s Proposition 65 chemicals of concern and EU-listed fragrance allergens for a truly clean ingredient list that is also easily biodegradable, “reads their website.
“I think as a consumer, you put your laundry detergent in the washing machine, wash your clothes, and then it’s gone, and it’s not very visible to people,” explains Dirty Labs CEO and co-founder David Watkins. , to Quick companionY. “But when you start to address the big picture here, all of these chemicals go into our wastewater system … there is a huge build-up of these things in the environment.”
As more and more biological laundry detergents hit supermarket shelves each year, Dirty Labs defines itself by its “unique enzyme-driven cleaning technology,” Phytolase, which it says offers the “exceptional cleaning power “of conventional detergents, without the toxic chemicals.
That Dirty Labs formula is ultra-concentrated, designed to work well in cold water, and is available at a cost of 25 cents per load of laundry.
It’s ironic that we litter our planet just to clean our clothes, and that’s why Watkins, foreseeing a wave of state legislation restricting harmful cleaning chemicals, wants to get out of the trouble.
“I think the legislation is one thing that will force companies to look for better alternatives,” Watkins told Fast Company. “We’re trying to get ahead of that and say, ‘Look, we think we have the technology to do this today. And here’s a smarter solution overall. ‘
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