Wal-Mart Americas to Eliminate Phosphates from Detergent

Wal-Mart Americas to Eliminate Phosphates from Detergent

Wal-Mart Americas, which encompasses Canada, Mexico and other countries outside the U.S., will require that laundry and dish detergents it sells are made with 70 percent fewer phosphates by 2011.

Phosphates are common water pollutants that can come from detergents and fertilizers. When introduced into water, they stimulate the growth of algae, which depletes the amount of oxygen available for fish and plants.

Wal-Mart Americas plans to work with its suppliers to cut down, and eventually eliminate, phosphates from detergents. Brazil has so far seen the introduction of Ariel Ecomax, the first phosphate-free detergent available in the country.

In addition, Wal-Mart's U.S. based packaging scorecard will be rolled out by the end of this year to the countries and regions covered by Wal-Mart Americas: Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Central America, Mexico and Puerto Rico.

Wal-Mart Americas is pushing to reduce packaging by 5 percent by the end of 2013 and get detergent suppliers to provide products that are two or more times concentrated by 2012. In the U.S., Wal-Mart has been a driving force in detergent concentration by stocking only concentrated detergent products.

The company is also launching Sustainable Value Networks in its markets to bring representatives from Wal-Mart, suppliers, academics, governments and other organizations together to examine and work on local challenges.