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For detergent makers, 'green' is in the bag

By: Kerri Jansen

April 1, 2014

CHICAGO — For the makers of Savvy Green laundry and dishwasher detergents, their product’s message wouldn’t be complete without the right packaging.

Mary Allen and Rita Knorr, friends, yogis and tie-dye apron-wearing co-owners of Savvy Green LLC, created the line of detergent powders as an earth-friendly alternative to synthetic cleaning products. Based in humid St. Petersburg, Fla., the pair sought a packaging material that would lock out clump-causing moisture better than a cardboard box, while being lightweight and easy to ship. And, importantly, it had to fit the brand’s slogan of “Smart, Green, Clean.”

“We thought [of] a flexible pouch, but we didn’t want to just do any regular flexible pouch, we had to do something that fit in with our whole environmental and green awareness,” Allen said.

They found a solution in a flexible yet sturdy plastic bag made of recyclable high density polyethylene. The pouch, which is itself made in part from recycled material, can be resealed, reused and recycled with plastic shopping bags or in communities that accept flexible packaging curbside.

“When you’re finished with the product, you can actually … recycle it in the same waste stream as other shopping bags,” Allen said.

Launched in 2012 with a single laundry detergent product, Savvy Green recently added dishwasher detergent and an oxygen brightening powder to its offerings. The co-owners displayed their products at the International Home + Housewares Show March 15-18 in Chicago.

Packaging detergent powder in plastic bags instead of cardboard boxes means the product takes up less space in shipping containers and store shelves. It’s easier to ship than heavy plastic jugs of liquid detergent, so the package made sense from a business standpoint as well as environmentally, Allen said.

“Our package uses recycled material to be produced, plus it only uses one layer of film and that reduces the amount of material used, so it reduces the amount of energy required to make the product,” Allen said.

The Savvy Green line is sold nationwide at natural and specialty stores and online.