Seventh Generation Releases New Laundry Detergent in a Molded Cardboard Container

Seventh Generation, the U.S.’s leading brand of non-toxic household and personal-care products, has teamed up with Berkeley,Oakland-based Ecologic Brands to release a new, super-concentrated laundry detergent in a bottle made from 100-percent cardboard and newspaper.  The detergent container is actually two pieces, the outer shell made from 66 percent recycled cardboard fibers and 30 percent old newspaper fibers that house a slim plastic pouch that holds the liquid laundry soap.  The cardboard container can be either recycled or composted, and the plastic liner, made of low-density polyethylene, can be recycled in bins at stores that recycle plastic bags.  The bottle cap, made from polypropylene #5, is the only part of the new bottle that may not be recyclable in some regions, although Whole Foods Stores do recycle them. packaging

According to a press release from Seventh Generation, based in Burlington, Vermont, the new containers use 60 percent less plastic than typical 100-ounce laundry detergent bottles, and the cardboard shell is 100 percent recyclable or compostable. The new container holds Seventh Generation’s new 4X laundry detergent, made for both HE and standard machines, this formula is twice as concentrated as the company’s 2X detergent, doubling the savings of water and energy from transportation.

The packaging is the brainchild of Ecologic Brand’s, CEO and founder, Julie Corbett, who grew up in Canada where milk is sold in plastic pouches that are placed in consumers’ reusable carafes at home.  According to an article in the San Francisco Chronicle, Corbett was also inspired by the paper tray that cradled her new iPhone.  “I thought, if you could mold paper, you could make a bottle out of it.”

The Strauss Family Creamery in Petaluma, CA tested Ecologic’s concept for six weeks, selling nonfat organic milk in a cardboard bottle designed by Corbett at a Whole Foods Store in Oakland, CA.  Corbett says the sales of the company’s nonfat organic milk increased 76 percent during the trial period. 

The Seventh Generation recycled paper bottle and new detergent made its debut at the National Products Expo West in Anaheim, CA in March.  The detergent was expected to be on natural retailer’s shelves throughout the U.S. by the end of March.


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If you see any unhelpful comments, please let us know immediately.

Amy Bonetti (anonymous)

Clarification - Ecologic Brands is based in Oakland CA and the bag uses 66% less plastic.

Written in April 2011

ldavis (anonymous)

I recently saw some pieces on shows like CNN and the journal with Joan Lunden that were talking about issues and solutions for industrial recycling. These guys really are leading in making choices in this area. Read about a new store in Texas eliminating packaging all together, hopefully this is our next step. I for one reward them with my business.

Written in September 2011

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  • Posted on April 7, 2011. Listed in:

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