During the past few years, makers of home cleaning products, shampoos and laundry detergent have been pledging to reduce the amount of plastic used in packaging or use only recycled plastic.
Now Seventh Generation is preparing to ditch plastic completely and will reformulate some products to make that happen.
Fast Company magazine has the story of Seventh Generation's new Zero Plastic Homecare line, which will use steel packaging and launch initially through Grove Collaborative, an online home delivery company for cleaning products. The line will not have any liquid formulations.
"To eliminate plastic in the new line, the company rethought the products themselves," Adele Peters writes. "The new hand soap comes in a powder instead of a liquid. The dishwasher detergent comes in tablets. The new kitchen cleaner is a powder instead a spray; a foaming toilet cleaner is also a powder."
It remains to be seen if Seventh Generation will be a fad or a sign of things to come. Consumers will play a key role in any widespread shift, of course. If they keep buying liquid detergent, then high density polyethylene packaging may continue to rule the store shelves.
When I was growing up, our Tide was a powder that came in a cardboard box, so I'm aware that you can't sit back and expect the current status quo to remain.