How do you fit a year’s worth of laundry detergent in a single tissue box? Tru Earth, a Vancouver, Canada-based eco-friendly household cleaning products company has found a way with its Eco-Strips dissolvable laundry detergent strips. Launched in 2019, the business has grown 944% since then and has attracted 1.2 million #TruChangeMakers—also known as Tru Earth customers.
The technology behind the strip was invented a decade ago, but it was only in 2019 when Tru Earth’s founders recognized the potential of the concentrated product. “We understood the pains people went through in doing laundry, which is the second most hated chore in the house,” says Tru Earth co-founder and CEO Brad Liski. “The ease of use of the product solved the problem of using too much and wasting money and chemicals. The size hit the pain point of lack of space in our homes, and the effectiveness hit the expectation of cleaning clothes. We realized we don’t need to put chemicals over clothing, we just need to clean them. Most of all though, we needed to eliminate the plastic jug.”
According to Liski, 645 billion plastic household product containers are dumped in landfills and oceans worldwide each year. Eco-Strips are packaged in a recyclable, compostable paperboard envelope that contains 8, 32, 64, or 384 strips/pack. While Liski says the company has not encountered any moisture problems when testing the paper packaging under sinks or in cabinets, it offers a reusable tin storage container for consumers who want to be extra cautious.
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The strips themselves—the only patented detergent strips on the market, according to Liski—measure approximately 4 x 4 in. and are made with non-toxic, eco-friendly ingredients. “The ingredients used in the manufacturing of Tru Earth Eco-Strips, which can be found on our website, have been carefully selected to minimize our impact on the environment from sourcing to end of life,” says Liski. “While they contain PVOH [polyvinyl alcohol, a water-soluble, non-toxic thermoplastic] to adhere and strengthen the cornstarch, they do not contain microplastics that end up in grey water. Our binding agents are biodegradable as tested and passed by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development—OECD 31, method D.”
The strips are pre-portioned, with one strip recommended for a regular-sized load of laundry, two strips for an extra-large load, and a half-strip for a small load, eliminating consumer confusion over proper dosage. “Overusage isn’t just an inconvenience,” says Liski. “In the U.S., $2.2 billion is wasted on over-pouring detergent every year.”
Because it eliminates water in the formulation, Eco-Strips also significantly reduces carbon emissions in transportation, “because what would traditionally need a pallet for transport can now fit in a single box,” Liski notes.
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Tru Earth manufactures all of its products in North America to ensure that it is not only being kind to the environment, but also so that it’s operating in countries with strict labor laws and health code regulations where the worker is protected. “Our commitment to helping create a clean, healthy environment takes a cradle-to-grave view on our products,” says Liski. “It’s not all about the end product, we consider every ingredient source and end-of-life impact.”
Tru Earth Eco-Strips Laundry Detergent is available in Fresh Linen, Fragrance-Free, Lilac Breeze, and Baby formulas, in four sheet counts, priced from $9.95 to $149, depending on the variety and size, when purchased through the Tru Earth website. The product is also sold on Amazon in the U.S. and Canada and in-store across 6,000 locations. It can be found in 78 countries worldwide.
Most recently, the company has introduced concentrated all-purpose and toilet-bowl cleaning strips. “We have only just begun,” says Liski. “The 944% growth has come essentially from one product. We started in the laundry room, but we are also in the kitchen and bath. Ultimately we want to eliminate plastic from your laundry room, kitchen, and bathroom. We’ve already extended our technology to multipurpose cleaners and toilet bowl cleaners and are always looking for further opportunities to make a difference.”