Saturday, March 28, 2009

Spokane residents become smugglers for clean dishes

Citizens join the smugglers, just so they can get their dishes clean. Criminals! Watch your rear-view mirror for flashing lights. Now this only affects the Spokane area. In July, 2010, the entire state. The Washington Lake Protection Association is proud that they got HB 2322 (pdf) passed in 2006 to prevent all of us from using effective dish detergents that contain phosphates. Are there effective low-phosphate detergents? Not their problem (pdf).
WALPA is asking thatFont size Spokane County residents keep trying different brands until they find one that works and more importantly to share that information with friends and neighbors.
Has anyone found one yet? WALPA hasn't despite their best efforts. See also KOMO TV. Associated Press: Spokane residents smuggle suds over green brands:
SPOKANE, Wash. – The quest for squeaky-clean dishes has turned some law-abiding people in Spokane into dishwater-detergent smugglers. They are bringing Cascade or Electrasol in from out of state because the eco-friendly varieties required under Washington state law don't work as well. Spokane County became the launch pad last July for the nation's strictest ban on dishwasher detergent made with phosphates, a measure aimed at reducing water pollution. The ban will be expanded statewide in July 2010, the same time similar laws take effect in several other states. But it's not easy to get sparkling dishes when you go green. Many people were shocked to find that products like Seventh Generation, Ecover and Trader Joe's left their dishes encrusted with food, smeared with grease and too gross to use without rewashing them by hand. The culprit was hard water, which is mineral-rich and resistant to soap. As a result, there has been a quiet rush of Spokane-area shoppers heading east on Interstate 90 into Idaho in search of old-school suds. Real estate agent Patti Marcotte of Spokane stocks up on detergent at a Costco in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, and doesn't care who knows it. "Yes, I am a smuggler," she said. "I'm taking my chances because dirty dishes I cannot live with." (In truth, the ban applies to the sale of phosphate detergent — not its use or possession — so Marcotte is not in any legal trouble.) Marcotte said she tried every green brand in her dishwasher and found none would remove grease and pieces of food. Everybody she knows buys dishwasher detergent in Idaho, she said. Supporters of the ban acknowledge it is not very popular. "I'm not hearing a lot of positive feedback," conceded Shannon Brattebo of the Washington Lake Protection Association, a prime mover of the ban. "I think people are driving to Idaho."
One Spokane resident has found a way to get clean dishes: use a lot more hot water. Using more water and heating it? Doesn't that offset the benefits of getting rid of phosphates? "Oh, we didn't intend that," say the innocents who caused the damage.
For his part, Beck has taken to washing his dishes on his machine's pots-and-pans cycle, which takes longer and uses five gallons more water. Beck wonders if that isn't as tough on the environment as phosphates. "How much is this really costing us?" Beck said. "Aren't we transferring the environmental consequences to something else?"
I posted this at Sound Politics, which has over 4,000 unique visitors per day! and there are dozens of comments there.


Margaret said...

Might be time to stock up on detergent. Just over a year for the rest of us!

thesis writing said...

You know completely non-polar solvents known as degreasers can also remove hydrophobic contaminants, but lacking polar elements may not dissolve in water.

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