Washing away water waste

In an effort to conserve water, Wal-Mart recently announced that its U.S. stores, including Sam’s Club, will sell only concentrated versions of liquid laundry detergent products.

The retailer claims selling only concentrated products will save more than 400 million gallons of water, more than 125 pounds of cardboard and more than 95 million pounds of plastic. The transition will be phased in, beginning this month in Southern states and continuing nationwide until May 2008.

Wal-Mart CEO Lee Scott made the announcement at the Clinton Global Initiative in New York City last week. The retailer began working in 2005 with Unilever—a major supplier of detergent—to bring a concentrate to market, and the success of the partnership led to similar arrangements with other companies.