Washy Wonder Bag Savers: Greenwashing at Its Peak
We received an invite to review Washy Wonder, a tool to “encourage reuse” and be greener.
Besides the fact that I keep mixing up the brand name for a place in Chinatown that ends with a “happy ending”, this product appalls me.
The Washy Wonder is made by polypropylene, or #5 plastics. The point of this “tool” is to wash plastic bags up to 25 to 30 times to save them from the landfill.
Let’s break this down.
The Washy Wonder itself isn’t exactly a chemical-free object. As Beth Terry points out, polypropylene is deemed a ‘safe’ plastic type by most experts, although it is derived from natural gas. But even recent studies have found that this ‘safe’ plastic was leaching chemicals. polypropylene also is hazardous during production and since most plastics are less than 100 years old, we can’t guarantee any materials safety at this point. Unfortunately, many towns don’t recycle #5 plastics (although Philadelphia DOES accept all plastics, #1 – 7.)
The Washy Wonder is supposed to recycle plastic baggies, like Ziplock. Although Mother Jones found advantages to reusing plastic baggies, they do express concern with washing in hot water temperatures. However, the Washy Wonder suggests you to wash them in your DISHWASHER.
Straight from the Washy Wonder website:
Q: What about BPA or dioxin in plastic bags?
A: The best way to avoid this situation is to purchase plastic bags: snack, sandwich, quart, freezer or vacuum seal that are name brands that do not contain BPA or dioxin at all such as Ziploc brand bags.
Hint: If the plastic bags say they don’t contain BPA, they may have chemicals that haven’t been tested at all. Which could come up several years down the line as having hazardous chemicals.
I appreciate that the owner is trying to ‘save’ plastic from the landfill. That’s a good ‘thought’, but the execution may be way more hazardous than the product. Instead of trying to come up with creative ways to reuse single-use plastics, we should reduce our single-use plastic use overall. Get tempered-glass storage containers or stainless steal varieties for food instead of flimsy baggies.
The Washy Wonder people are correct that plastic baggies can’t be placed in the recycling bin. But there’s absolutely no reason you should ever (like, never ever ever- Taylor Swift style) stick a plastic bag in your dishwasher.
Save the $14 price tag for this horrid product and buy 2 pints of beer in an anti-greenwashing toast.