Enzymes were originally introduced into cleaning products to replace phosphate-based detergents resulting in lower phosphate levels in the wastewater. Phosphates in wastewater reduce water quality and are a source of eutrophication in lakes and rivers. The latest generation enzymes offer comparable cleaning while enabling low-temperature clothes washing, resulting in energy savings and reduced greenhouse gas emissions in both commercial and household laundry use1. If every household in the US converted to cold water washing it would save 32 Million metric tonnes of CO2 which is equivalent to removal of 1.5 – 6.3 million passenger vehicles. Enzyme technology also enables detergent compaction resulting in significant environmental savings through detergent dose reduction, less packaging, and savings in transport2.
1Cold water washing savings: http://coldwatersaves.org/
2 Compaction (PDF) helps with less packaging and lower detergent