Department of Ecology News Release - October 28, 2014

Safer Chemistry Champions honored
Washington businesses recognized for innovation, reducing chemical use

TACOMA – Five Washington businesses were honored today as “Safer Chemistry Champions” by the Washington Department of Ecology for their leadership in reducing the use of toxic chemicals and finding safer alternatives.

How did they do it? Redesigning a bottling line to cut soap use, developing paints and household cleaners made from safer ingredients, finding ways to reuse industrial acids, even inventing an alternative to green floral foam.

Maia Bellon, Ecology’s director, praised the winners’ creativity and commitment as she presented the awards during the Northwest Green Chemistry Roundtable at the Greater Tacoma Convention & Trade Center.

“The Safer Chemistry Champion Awards celebrate businesses that are leading the way in safer products and cleaner manufacturing methods,” Bellon said. “They demonstrate that reducing or eliminating toxic chemicals is both good for the environment and just good business.”

The winners

WaferTech LLC – This Camas semiconductor manufacturer reduced its hazardous waste generation by 94 percent over the past 10 years. WaferTech recycles more than 330 million gallons of water a year and has found ways to reuse chemicals such as sulfuric acid, phosphoric acid and thinner waste.

Redhook Ale Brewery – The popular Woodinville craft brewer replaced its steel bottling line with a plastic system, reducing its use of water and the surfactant used as a lubricant, cutting its use of antimicrobial disinfectants, and eliminating the chemicals needed to treat wastewater.

Eco Chemical – A Seattle-based specialty coatings manufacturer, Eco Chemical makes water-based, low-VOC, nontoxic paints and coatings for the treated wood industry and athletic fields. Its TempLine artificial turf paint can be quickly and safely removed to allow venues like CenturyLink Field to switch between football and soccer with minimal risk.

Earth Friendly Products – This company’s Lacey facility manufactures a range of cleaning and household products that are free of formaldehyde, phosphates, caustics, chlorine bleach, and other toxics. Earth Friendly Products’ operations are carbon-neutral and the company has reduced its non-hazardous waste generation by 90 percent since 2010.

Floral Soil Solutions – This new Everett company developed a bio-based alternative to the familiar green petroleum-based foam florists use to hold flower arrangements. Floral Soil is made out of algae and coconut husks and entirely compostable.

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Contact:

Andrew Wineke, communications, 360-407-6979, @ecologyWA