Cleaner clothes for a cleaner planet
Wednesday, 1st May 2019 at 8:30 am
A new laundry liquid is hoping to scrub clean more than just your clothing, fighting the plastic waste problem with sustainable packaging, and planting one mangrove tree for every bottle purchased.
Happi Laundry, launched to coincide with this year’s Earth Day, comes in pouches made from 99 per cent paper with a stainless steel refillable bottle – helping to reduce 13 plastic laundry bottles per household, each year.
While there is a plastic lining inside the refill pouch, the paper is durable enough to be reused when empty.
The laundry liquid is also part of a bigger enterprise called the Happi Earth Movement, which recently took ownership of a mangrove forest in Myanmar, where it plans to plant over one billion mangrove trees.
Alf Orpen, Happi Laundry CEO, told Pro Bono News the impact of both purchasing a reusable product and a mangrove tree being planted for every packet sold was substantial.
“A mangrove tree absorbs five times as much carbon dioxide as a rainforest tree does, and then you’ve also just saved 13 plastic bottles from ever being produced,” Orpen said.
“It’s really a compound of little things that make a difference in the end.”
He said that many of the major brands sell laundry liquid in bigger plastic bottles that contain around 90 per cent water.
“It really is a perception marketing situation where a big bottle looks good if it’s $10, but why add water to water?” he said.
Happi Laundry instead offers a highly concentrated product, which Orpen said will give 400 washes out of one litre.
The product is pricier than an average bottle of laundry liquid, costing almost $100 for a litre concentrate, but Orpen said while it was an initial concern that it would deter customers, it hasn’t been an issue so far.
“It’s early days, so it [the cost] might play out to be a barrier, but I think people want to take action, and we’re actually planting a tree for every bottle sold so that’s a big commitment from our point of view,” he said.
“But we just feel like that’s what we have to do to make a change, and this is something we can do as a social enterprise.”