Pollution-busting probiotic launched for river washing in Peru

April 19, 2021 |

In Peru, a new soap ingredient has been developed for washing clothes in rivers and streams that actually cleans up pollution instead of adding to it. 

Creative agency Fahrenheit DDB and bottled water company Andea conceived and developed the probiotic technology and founded a startup, Cirsys, to manufacture and sell it to detergent brands. The company claims the probiotic cleans sewage and chemicals left in water ways from conventional laundry soaps. 

“The idea is very simple: take advantage of the Andean cultural heritage of washing their clothes in the rivers, so the rivers can be cleaned,” Ricardo Chadwick, partner and creative director at the Fahrenheit DDB, tells Fast Company.  “This microorganism . . . feeds itself from the pollution of the river, reducing drastically the levels of nitrate and ammoniac, the type responsible for spreading bacteria that affect humans. These microorganisms are freed when the bar of soap is used, and they get attached to the rocks and river weeds, staying there even after the washing ritual.”

Chadwick calls the market and impact potential huge. “Companies like P&G or Unilever could make this a reality all over Latin America, Africa, and Asia—three continents where washing clothes at the riverbanks is still a tradition,” he adds. 

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Category: Chemicals & Materials

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