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Scotch Brite Scrubbers: Dishwashing or Greenwashing?
Posted By Beth Terry On December 1, 2009 @ 11:34 am In cleaning products | 25 Comments
Several months ago, while accompanying some friends on a shopping trip to Target, I came across a new product line that seemed at first glance to be a good sign: Scotch Brite “Greener Clean” products. I picked up a box of natural fiber non-scratch scour pads, biodegradable bamboo wipes, and a natural bamboo cleaning cloth. I didn’t read the fine print until I got home. Too bad.
All three products are packaged in recycled cardboard with no plastic packaging. Great. But the “natural fiber scour pad,” while containing 50% natural agave plant, is also 50% plastic. A phone call to 3M confirmed that. Because of the plastic, the pad is not biodegradable or compostable as I had originally assumed. (I’m not such a bad reader normally. Really!)
The bamboo products are not as green as you might think either.
According to an FTC report this past summer , bamboo rayon is no different from any other rayon product. Its “manufacturing process uses toxic chemicals and results in the emission of hazardous air pollutants.” In addition, “the Commission charges that these rayon products are not biodegradable because they will not break down in a reasonably short time after customary disposal.” OrganicClothing.blogs.com  sheds light on all the steps involved in chemically processing bamboo into fabric. The article is truly eye opening.
So, here’s what we use to wash dishes. Nothing is perfect, but we are doing the best we can.
What we don’t use:
The point of this post is that all of us need to read labels and not automatically believe companies’ green claims. Sometimes it’s hard to tell the difference between the green and the greenwashed. And sometimes we have to be willing to change when products we assumed to be green are proven to be otherwise.
What examples of greenwashing have you run into lately?
Article printed from My Plastic-free Life: http://myplasticfreelife.com
URL to article: http://myplasticfreelife.com/2009/12/scotch-brite-scrubbers-dishwashing-or-greenwashing/
URLs in this post:
 FTC report this past summer: http://www.ftc.gov/opa/2009/08/bamboo.shtm
 OrganicClothing.blogs.com: http://organicclothing.blogs.com/my_weblog/2007/09/bamboo-facts-be.html
 Skoy cloths: http://myplasticfreelife.com/2008/10/skoy-cloths-theyre-plastic-free-and/
 trying unsuccessfully to create liquid soap: http://myplasticfreelife.com/2008/12/liquid-soap-fail-what-am-i-doin-wrong/
 Green PhoneBooth’s recipe: http://www.greenphonebooth.com/2008/12/wave-goodbye-to-dishwasher-detergent.html
 Microfiber cloths: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microfiber
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