Suds-Smugglers Thwart Eco-Friendly Law

Residents say only outlaw high-phosphate detergents get their dishes clean enough
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 28, 2009 6:13 AM CDT
Suds-Smugglers Thwart Eco-Friendly Law
John, left, and P.J Demakas look at a box of phosphate-free dishwasher detergent at the Huckleberries Fresh Market area inside a Rosauers Supermarket in Spokane, Wash.    (AP Photo/Young Kwak)

Spokane, Washington's pioneering ban on high-phosphorus dishwasher detergents has led some residents to pioneer detergent-smuggling, reports the AP.  People complaining that the eco-friendly detergents don't get their dishes as clean as the old kind regularly cross over into Idaho to stock up. Retailers near the border say their detergent sales have surged as much as 10% since the ban began.

Green groups acknowledge that the ban—introduced to tackle lake pollution and due to be made statewide next year—is unpopular, but urge people to experiment with different brands and water softeners instead of turning to bootleg suds. "Clean lakes and clean dishes do not have to be mutually exclusive," said the head of the Washington Lake Protection Association. (More Washington state stories.)

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