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DuPont, P&G Now Powering Tide Cold Water Laundry Detergent with Agricultural Waste

P&G says the substitution of cellulosic ethanol in its Tide Cold Water detergent will provide increasingly conscious shoppers with a more sustainable choice. | Image credit: P&G

DuPont and Procter & Gamble (P&G) have announced a collaboration to use cellulosic ethanol in North American Tide® laundry detergent, an industry first. Tide Cold Water will be the first brand in the world to blend cellulosic ethanol in a scalable and commercial way. Ethanol has long been a key ingredient in the Tide® formulation, allowing for stability of the detergent formula and better washing performance. The substitution of the current corn-based ethanol with cellulosic is the latest innovation in the companies’ 30-year partnership, making it easier for consumers to make sustainable choices in their everyday lives.

Cellulosic ethanol
Click for full-size infographic.

DuPont will produce this renewable, cellulosic ethanol at its new biorefinery, currently under construction in Nevada, Iowa. Once completed, the plant will be the world’s largest bioethanol refinery, producing 30 million gallons of cellulosic ethanol per year — a process with zero net carbon emissions.

P&G understands that consumers are becoming more and more concerned about how their personal behavior and the goods they buy impact the environment. However, as research taken from Procter & Gamble/Nielsen LOHAS Consumer Sustainability Study (Oct 2013) shows, while roughly 70 percent of shoppers seek out more sustainable products, they can’t or won’t make tradeoffs on performance.


P&G's Virginie Helias,
speaker
at
SB'14 London

The CPG giant’s size and scale provides a unique opportunity to bring more sustainable products to the global market that don’t sacrifice quality and help change consumer behavior. P&G says Tide® Cold Water “powered by nature” will re-purpose over 7,000 tons of agricultural waste a year — equivalent to the power needed to do all the washing in homes across California for over a month.

“We believe that actions speak louder than words in the area of sustainability and this partnership with DuPont demonstrates we are doing just that,” said Gianni Ciserani, Procter & Gamble’s Group President of Global Fabric and Home Care. “As one of the world’s largest laundry manufacturers, we have a responsibility to lead renewable sourcing in products. We do this by ensuring consumers still get the great Tide® laundry performance they want, while further reducing the impact on the environment.  In January, we committed to removing phosphates in our laundry products. This partnership on renewables is one more step in our journey.”

Building on its expertise in agriculture, biotech and processing technology, DuPont says the commercial scalability of cellulosic ethanol represents a technological breakthrough that has been 10 years in the making.

“It was a natural decision for us to take this next step forward with Procter & Gamble in an area which is so critical for each of our companies — sustainable technologies for processes and products,” said DuPont’s SVP James Collins. “With this collaboration, DuPont is also taking the first step to diversify its markets for cellulosic ethanol beyond fuels. As we build on our integrated science capabilities, we will continue to seek out new opportunities and new collaborations to transform value chains with more sustainable solutions.”

Speaking of uniquely sustainable alternative ingredients for laundry liquid, in April sustainable cleaning products giant Ecover announced it is developing an algae-based laundry liquid as part of its goal to cut the use of palm oil in all of its products. Production of the ubiquitous oil and its by-products — which are used in hundreds of packaged food, personal care and cleaning products — has become the largest single driver of deforestation in South East Asia and parts of Africa and South America. CEO Philip Malmberg insists the algal-based oil will in no way compromise on the quality or effectiveness of the brand’s conventional products.

 


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