What cleaning products are polluting our ocean?

Ocean pollution has arguably had the most media and public attention lately of all environmental issues, mainly plastic pollution. But what is also starting to gain attention is how the products we use at home and go down our drain impact the ocean.

While the ratio of cleaning products to water may seem minuscule, even after water treatment chemical compounds can still make their way into ponds, lakes and the ocean. These chemical compounds can have a negative impact on aquatic wildlife and environments.

 

What cleaning products damage the environment?

You may have seen this sign on your toilet bleach at home:

ocean warning bleach

Most toilet bleaches you find in a supermarket will have this issue. Environmentally friendly cleaning products don’t seem to have the demand yet for mass production. In supermarkets you can easily buy cheaper bleaches for under £1. Bleach has an acidic effect on aquatic life in the same way direct contact with bleach could cause a burn on human skin. As well as being toxic it can disrupt the growth of wildlife and reproduction. Unfortunately the change in water can imitate the effects of hormones in mammals and fish.

It’s not just toilet bleach that causes issues for the environment. Laundry and dishwasher detergents containing phosphates cause damage to environments such as lakes and oceans. The phosphates have a fertilising effect on the environment which cause algae to grow significantly faster than it would naturally. This means that the extra growth of algae demands more oxygen from the water, reducing biodiversity as algae puts pressure on the ecosystem.

 

cleaning products

 

The other point to consider is the a less direct effect of buying cheap cleaning products. Cheaper products naturally mean poorer quality, they are more watery and less effective and as consumer we use them quicker. Because we use them quicker we buy them more frequently creating more of a demand. This includes more packaging creating, more co2 emissions through production and the transport and more toxic chemicals entering our oceans.

As consumers we have the power. Every product we buy is a choice and if we create a greater demand there will be a greater supply. Big Green Smile offer a huge range of environmentally friendly and high quality cleaning products. If we create a greater demand there will be more competition for brands and prices will hopefully reduce. As consumers we’ll also have more choice.

Make One Change Now by choosing products that tell the world, we want greener products. If we make our voices loud enough, we will be heard.

 

Related blogs:

5 ways to live greener.
Ocean clean up – Fuerteventura.
Ocean Plastic – What can we do today?

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