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Walmart Prescribes Green Packaging, Concentrated Clorox

Walmart has launched greener packaging for select prescriptions and is now carrying a concentrated version of Clorox bleach.

Earlier this month, 4,600 Walmart and Sam’s Club pharmacies introduced Ecoslide-RX box packaging, which is made by Keystone Folding Box Company, for select prescriptions. The box is made from 100 percent recyclable material, has a secondary package that contains no plastic, and requires what Walmart calls a minimal amount of film and foil for the actual pill pack. Initially, the packaging will be available for 40 different items, but the company plans to use the packs for an additional 35 to 40 items in the next few months.

The new packaging extends Walmart’s existing program aimed at environmental pharmaceuticals. In 2011, the retail giant became part of the SMARxT Disposal program, which educates consumers about the safe disposal of medicine to protect the environment, human health and wildlife.

The concentrated Clorox bleach comes in a slimmed-down bottle which saves water and space. The new Clorox jugs use about 20 percent less energy, water, paper and plastic than the products they replace, Walmart says.

Beyond the eco-benefits, the bleach products’ new formula will improve whitening on clothes, Walmart says. And the streamlined bottles are easier to handle and pour, the company says.

The new product was also driven by a change in how washing machines are being made, Walmart says. Most new washing machines are high-efficiency machines and have a smaller dispenser for bleach, often times holding only 1/2 cup. To ensure people use the recommended amount to whiten, Clorox concentrated its bleach products. Half of a cup is now the recommended dose in high-efficiency washing machines. But the new concentrated Clorox bleach products contain the same number of uses per bottle, Walmart says.

This month Clorox is starting a marketing campaign that aims to widen the appeal of its Green Works cleaning products. The “You Don’t Have to be Ridiculous to be Green” campaign pokes fun at what the company terms eco-fanatics and attempts to make “eco-friendly people friendly again.”

According to Green Works brand manager Shekinah Eliassen, the campaign says “green is for everyone,” not just the rich. She says the company’s cleaning products support this message by being priced comparable to non-premium traditional cleaners and by being sold at mainstream retailers.

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