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Australian startup ends single-use plastics in cleaning products

A new Victoria-based company Tea Trees Eco Ware has launched a cleaning products range which uses dissolving tablets and long-life bottles, bringing an end to single-use plastic bottles.

Founders Saskia Angel and Stu Atkins were inspired after seeing beaches in Asia covered in waste plastic while travelling and last year conceived a solution. 

“With a large family and a lot of plastic waste being generated, we knew our habits had to change,” says Angel. “We set about reviewing our own waste footprint and found there was a completely unnecessary amount of single-use plastic being generated.”

“The cleaning aisle of a supermarket is riddled with single-use plastic cleaning products, which are rarely refilled or recycled,” adds Atkins. “Most homes (ours included) have many bottles of cleaning products cluttering cupboards which ultimately get thrown away and end up in landfill or worse.”

Tea Trees Eco Ware’s solution is to create 8gm concentrated tablets which consumers can drop into a reused 500ml plastic container to create ready-to-use cleaning solutions. The initial range includes Heavy Lifter Kitchen Cleaner, The General Multipurpose (a heavy-duty degreaser and cleaner), Glimmer Glass Cleaner, The Bomb Bathroom cleaner and Fomo – a foaming hand soap dispenser and dissolving tablet. The company also produces 100-per-cent plant-based bamboo and cotton cleaning cloths which it says can be rewashed hundreds of times.

The tablets cost $3.75 each, delivered to the consumer’s door.  During test marketing, consumers reported the products were effective and confirmed a reduction in their volume of household waste.

Angel says she is amazed at how Australian consumers appear comfortable paying cleaning companies for full bottles of solutions which comprise 95-per-cent water.   

“There is little to no opportunity to reuse the plastic bottles and at around half a kilo each bottle, the shipping generates millions of tonnes of C02 each year. Not only this, but many products are not environmentally friendly, are harsh on our senses and don’t clean very well,” she says.

“Too often the eco-friendly options are more expensive,” adds Atkins. “Our focus is to not only be completely focussed on improving environmental outcomes, but to be more cost effective.”

Tea Trees Eco Ware – whose philosophy is ‘One Bottle, One Tablet, Dissolve, Clean, Repeat’ – wants to “shake up” the major players by launching a business which actively impacts the amount of plastic waste being saved from landfill.

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