Report: Household Cleaners Contributing to Growing Global Plastic Waste Problem; SunState Labs Advocates Sustainable Option to Protect the Environment
While new research shows over 250,000 tons of plastic floating in the world’s oceans, consumers continue to dispose of single-use cleaning product bottles. To counteract this growing problem, SunState Laboratories encourages reusing existing spray bottles, along with concentrated, environmentally responsible household cleaners.
(Tampa Bay, FL) February 23, 2015—Single-use plastic spray bottles are contributing to the growing problem of plastic waste buildup in our oceans, which, according to a study published in PLOS ONE (an inclusive, peer-reviewed, open-access resource from the Public Library of Science), has reached over 250,000 tons. (1) Everyday ready-to-use (RTU) household cleaning products, which consist mostly of water with a small amount of active ingredients, are a major factor in plastic waste.
SunState Laboratories, a pioneering manufacturer of concentrated, environmentally safe cleaning products, advises consumers that they may be unwittingly contributing to the problem by routinely purchasing single-use spray bottles. Not only are discarded plastic bottles harming the environment, but the “use once and throw away” process is extremely costly, wasteful and inefficient.
“Consumers often have good intentions of recycling plastic spray bottles,” said David Shahan, CEO and Chief Innovation Officer of SunState Labs. “But because plastics recycling is so difficult and costly, the items they believe are being recycled often end up in landfills—or floating out in the ocean.”
Based on data collected from 2007 to 2013 and published in PLOS ONE, it is estimated that at least 5.25 trillion particles of plastic litter the world’s oceans, weighing in at approximately 268,940
tons. The makeup of these floating islands of plastic, first identified over 20 years ago, includes discarded fishing nets and shopping bags, as well as untold numbers of plastic bottles, all of which have been thrown away by consumers. Researchers agree that the first step to cleaning up the oceans is to stop polluting them. (2)
As stated by Shahan, plastic’s durability further exacerbates its environmental impact. “Plastic is designed to be strong and durable, so it does not easily decompose. No one knows for sure how long plastic would take to decompose in nature, but some plastics may take well over 1,000 years,” he said. “Our oceans seem to be taking the greatest toll, with the United Nations Environmental Program estimating 46,000 square feet of plastic litter floating in every square mile of the ocean.” (3)
Slowing the buildup of plastic waste in the oceans will require changes in consumer behavior. Fortunately, one of the most effective solutions to the use-once-and-throw-away process is easy to achieve—by simply reusing the spray bottles already present in many households, per Shahan.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) bolsters SunState Labs’ stance on reusing existing plastic bottles. The EPA supports waste prevention activities, such as reuse, to offset the ever-growing per capita solid waste generation rate in the United States. According to the EPA, the average daily amount of waste generated per person in the U.S. increased nearly 63% from 1960 to 1997, from 2.7 pounds to 4.4 pounds. This figure is much higher than that of our peers in European nations such as Switzerland, Italy, Germany, Spain, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom, where per capita waste generation stands at about 2-3 pounds per day. (4)
EPA tips for reducing waste include switching to reusable and refillable products, as well as products employing less packaging. SunState Labs’ DAZZ Cleaning Products fulfills these goals, addressing environmental and sustainability issues, cost and waste in four ways:
1. They promote the reuse of existing spray bottles, so that consumers can contribute to environmental sustainability.
2. They are less wasteful. Instead of shipping heavy bottles filled mostly with water all over the country, the concentrated tablets allow consumers to add their own tap water, reducing the use of limited resources. Less packaging also equals less waste throughout the process.
3. DAZZ products are concentrated, so they’re less expensive than RTU cleaners. Consumers pay only for the effective/active ingredients, not for water or plastic spray bottles. Four refill packets cost about the same as one bottle of RTU cleaner.
4. They are safer, with no harmful chemicals, ammonia or bleach.
In independent testing, DAZZ products were shown to clean more effectively than do major RTU cleaners, further saving consumers money.
DAZZ products are available in a starter kit which includes a refillable, reusable spray bottle, or in a box of four refill packets, which includes an identifying label for a reused spray bottle. Once mixed, DAZZ products are safe for all households, including those with children, pets, and people with compromised immune systems or allergies.
For more information about SunState Laboratories and its full line of DAZZ cleaning products, visit http://dazzcleaner.com/.
Founded in 2012 in Tarpon Springs, Florida, SunState Laboratories, LLC, is committed to developing innovative, cost-effective and environmentally responsible household cleaning products that help to address the global concern of plastic waste and its impact on the environment. The company’s signature product, DAZZ, is a unique innovation in household cleaners. By concentrating a tough-on-dirt/safe-for-families cleaner in tablet form, DAZZ eliminates most of the packaging and all of the water. Customers save up to 75% off of traditional ready-to-use cleaners by simply reusing the same bottle and adding their own tap water with two DAZZ tablets. Scientifically engineered with only safe, natural ingredients, DAZZ formulations contain no harsh chemicals, yet still manage to outperform the leading national brands in side-by-side independent testing. All three DAZZ products beat the industry leader in each category at the University of Massachusetts’ TURI lab. DAZZ Window & Glass beat Windex; DAZZ All Purpose beat Formula 409; and DAZZ Bathroom beat Clorox. The DAZZ logo and retail package design won a 2014 Silver Addy award in the Packaging Campaign category. For more information, visit www.sunstatelabs.com and www.dazzcleaner.com.
1. “Plastic Pollution in the World’s Oceans: More 5 Trillion Plastic Pieces Weighing over 250,000 Tons Afloat at Sea;” PLOS ONE, December 10, 2014; accessed February 11, 2015. journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0111913.
2. “Plastic Waste Builds Up to Record Volume in Oceans;” Digital Journal, December 24, 2014; accessed February 11, 2015. digitaljournal.com/news/environment/world-s-oceans-are-littered-with-plastic-waste/article/421819.
3. “Plastic Debris in the World’s Oceans;” Greenpeace International; accessed February 12, 2015. unep.org/regionalseas/marinelitter/publications/docs/plastic_ocean_report.pdf.
4. “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Buy Recycled;” U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, last updated October 14, 2014; accessed February 11, 2015. epa.gov/region9/waste/solid/reduce.html.