Cleaning your clothes with traditional laundry detergent uses a surprising amount of plastic.
The plastic bottles containing the detergent mount up into many millions of tonnes of waste across the world each year.
One company aiming to buck the trend and go plastic-free when it comes to laundry detergent are Earth Breeze.
Earth Breeze make some bold claims: environmentally friendly, zero waste packaging and a green solution to the laundry industry.
How true are these and does Earth Breeze truly live up to its eco-friendly billing? Let’s take a look.
Disclaimer: I was contacted by Earth Breeze and sent the Fragrance Free and Fresh Scent products as gifts to try. I have since tried and fully researched the products. This review aims to be fair, honest and balanced.
Who are Earth Breeze?
Earth Breeze is an American company, headquartered in Oregon and founded at the end of 2019 by Jon Wedel.
They are on a mission to create superior, zero waste products to deliver meaningful environmental and social impact. Their aim is to create a sustainable and green solution for the laundry industry that is better for the environment and your clothes.
As a company, they’ve also completed multiple beach clean ups.
Currently, Earth Breeze produce two types of laundry detergent eco sheets:
- Fragrance free
- Fresh scent
How good are the Earth Breeze eco sheets?
If you’re buying laundry detergent, the first thing you’ll want to know is does it do its main job and clean your clothes?
I am no laundry expert, but the Earth Breeze eco sheets do a great job.
I’ve used the sheets a number of times and my clothes always come out clean, smelling fresh and with no remnants or residue remaining. Job done for me.
I haven’t tried to clean any heavily soiled items, for example muddy or grass stained yet, but so far so good.
How to use Earth Breeze sheets?
The first point to note is that the Earth Breeze eco strips come in a small, flat, dehydrated sheet. Each sheet measures roughly the size of your hand.
These sheets are very handy as they are pre-measured. One sheet is used for a full load.
If for some reason you’re washing a half load of clothes, cut the sheet in two and use half. You can also just rip the sheet in half if you don’t want to get the scissors.
If you have a front load washing machine, just place the sheet in the compartment where you normally put your liquid detergent. If you have a top loading machine, place the sheet straight in the top with your clothes.
A great point for all you eco-conscious washers is that the Earth Breeze sheets dissolve in both hot and cold cycles. So, you can stick to your 30oC or 40oC cycle.
The sheets also work in high efficiency (HE) washers. If you collect water to reuse, the eco sheets are safe to use with grey and septic water.
If you wash any clothes manually, you can soak and dissolve a sheet in the water first, then go ahead with your hand washing.
Now we know how to use the eco sheets and that it works properly as a laundry detergent, let’s take a look at how sustainable and eco-friendly it is.
Earth Breeze packaging
The Earth Breeze packaging looks like a small paper envelope.
The packaging is made from a type of cardboard and uses earth-friendly ink, which makes it biodegradable. The Earth Breeze website says that the packaging will ‘biodegrade in about 3 months depending on the environment’.
This makes it compostable, although it doesn’t come with an official compostable logo as recognised in the UK or EU.
To date, Earth Breeze estimate that they’ve saved 750,000 plastic containers going into landfill and oceans.
The other thing to mention about the packaging is that it’s incredibly lightweight. Much, much lighter than a full plastic bottle of laundry detergent.
This means that the carbon footprint associated with transportation is significantly reduced. Earth Breeze state their lightweight packaging lowers the carbon emissions from transport by 94%.
Key claims for Earth Breeze eco laundry detergent
As mentioned, Earth Breeze make a number of positive environmental claims about their product.
Their key eco claims include:
- Plastic free, biodegradable packaging
- Phosphate, phthalate and paraben free – Parabens (short for para-hydroxybenzoic acid) are a synthetic chemical compound used as a preservative in skin and beauty products. Phthalates are another group of synthetic chemicals used to make plastics more durable.
- Chlorine and bleach free
- Vegan and animal cruelty free – the detergent isn’t tested on animals or use animal by-products in the ingredients
- Reduced carbon footprint – due to lightweight packaging and product
- Carbon neutral company (offset entire supply chain)
In terms of the eco credentials, we have to take Earth Breezes word for it. Aside from the PETA cruelty free and vegan rabbit logo, the other claims haven’t been independently verified as far as I can see.
The eco sheets also reduce water usage during the production process. Ordinary liquid detergent is 90% water. However, the sheets use the water that is already going to be used in the washing machine.
What detergent ingredients are used?
The Earth Breeze eco sheet ingredients are vegan friendly, hypoallergenic and free from phthalates, parabens and bleach.
That said, the ingredient list does contain a number of questionable, synthetic items. Some of these include: polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) and polyethylene glycol (synthetic chemical derived from petroleum).
These means the product isn’t fully natural.
This isn’t to take away from the other good work Earth Breeze have done, but it’s useful to know the full story.
Where is Earth Breeze manufactured?
The Earth Breeze products, including the packaging, are designed in Los Angeles and shipped out of Oregon, US, or from their newly opened UK warehouse. The products I received were sent from the UK.
As for the ingredients, Earth Breeze tell me that they are sourced ethically in Asia and that they have manufacturing partners here and in the USA.
Earth Breeze are aiming to open a warehouse in each major country in Europe, which would definitely help reduce transportation emissions.
How much does Earth Breeze eco detergent cost in the UK?
From their UK website, you can buy a packet of 40 eco sheets for £15.
You also have the option to subscribe for a subscription delivery model where you save 40% on the one-time purchase cost.
The subscription will cost you £9 and you can choose to have your eco sheets delivered every 1, 2 or 3 months. It’s also free delivery with all orders.
I think that is very good value.
If you’re not happy with the product, they offer a money back guarantee.
Wrap up on Earth Breeze eco sheets
Earth Breeze are doing a good job to be as eco-friendly as possible.
The packaging is compostable and extremely lightweight, making it an excellent alternative to the traditional plastic bottles that laundry detergent usually comes in. The only downside here is that the ingredients are sourced in Asia, which then need to be transported.
As for the eco sheets, they do a great job and are very easy to use.
I like the fact they come dehydrated and in thin, little strips. The query here is the use of some petroleum-based, synthetic chemicals. Aside from that they are vegan friendly, hypoallergenic, and parabens-free.
Away from the product, Earth Breeze aim to offset all of their carbon emissions and take part in good environmental initiatives, such as beach clean ups and tree planting, and have completely free plastic-free packaging.
You can visit their UK website here.