Want a Clean Path to Less Waste? Just Add Water

By Jason Foster
April 9, 2015
Clean Path Spray on Sink with Orange Background

Even if we’re not avid recyclers, most of us don’t like to waste. Reusing is a practice that’s been around for quite a while. Take my late grandmother, Jewell, for example – a woman who has long been my hero. A waitress for more than 40 years, she was the most successful person I knew. Growing up in the Great Depression gave her the drive to make the most of what she had in every way possible. She didn’t throw away jars; instead, she found new uses for them.

Her seemingly small habits imprinted a big purpose on me. So several years ago, while ironing my shirts, that attitude sparked an idea. My laundry starch was a huge bottle consisting of mostly water. What if it was sold as a concentrated formula in a reusable bottle, and then the user could add water at home?

My idea wasn’t about being more eco-friendly; it was about practical, common sense virtues. While there were big hurdles standing between my idea and an actual product, it became a crusade that I had to see through. I asked friends and family for investments, started an official company – Replenish – and several years later, we helped develop a line of premium concentrate cleaners called CleanPath to be sold exclusively at Walmart.

Whether you’re buying glass cleaner or hand soap, the process is the same: A concentrate refill pod makes three bottles’ worth of each product, and that stays attached to a reusable bottle made of thick, durable plastic that’s built for reuse.

Considering that approximately 70% of plastic bottles don’t get recycled, according to U.S. Environmental Protection Agency data, CleanPath products can make a real difference. Not just in household trash, but in the merchandise supply chain, too, by taking up less space and weight during shipping and therefore reducing miles on the road. Plus, people who purchase the products can save money because they’re reusing what’s already there.

While it’s as simple as adding tap water to a reusable bottle, I’m hopeful that little things like this can lead to big reductions in waste.

CleanPath soap and surface cleaners carry Walmart’s Sustainability Leaders badge, which helps customers identify and purchase items from suppliers that are leading in sustainability. Learn more at walmart.com/sustainabilityleaders.