Still No In-Store Refill Containers for Clorox Green Works

April 29th, 2008

Back in January, OrganicMania posted a rave review about Clorox Green Works™, but questioned the lack of refill containers. How can a “green” eco-friendly product lack refill containers? At the time, a Green Works PR rep told OrganicMania that the company was “exploring this option.”

My local grocery store still isn’t carrying refill containers, so this weekend OrganicMania wandered into a Walmart, thinking that if any place would stock refill containers, it would be a superstore like Walmart, which caters to families and people making bulk purchases.


But there were none to be found. It’s now more than three months since the launch of Green Works, and still no refill containers. Do Clorox Green Works, Walmart and the other retailers just expect consumers to keep buying more and more of the small containers? Sure, they’re recyclable, but it’s not as sustainable an approach as offering refill containers.

Refill containers are important because they minimize the use of smaller, nozzled plastic containers, reduce waste, and simply because they’re something green consumers expect from a green product line. They’re a key component of source reduction, which decreases the amount of materials used during the manufacturing and distribution of products.

Funny thing is, you can easily find a 64 ounce refill container for traditional Clorox cleaners, but not for Clorox Green Works.


Can a product be truly green without a sustainable approach to packaging? Me thinks not.

4/30/08 Update: Finally, after more Internet searching, I discovered that refill containers for Green Works are available on line at multiple sources including here, here and here, as well as at warehouse clubs like Sam’s. But this approach isn’t sufficiently green for a green product. If you’re going to market as a green company, you need to be authentically green. That includes packaging considerations. More on this tomorrow, when OrganicMania talks about the Take Back the Filter campaign against Clorox and Brita water filters.

Copyright OrganicMania 2008

6 Responses to “Still No In-Store Refill Containers for Clorox Green Works”

  1. Moses on May 2, 2008 4:27 am

    Sounds as if Clorox got a bit too excited going green and forgot about their packaging strategy.

    I’m curious, would you say agree a product like Clorox should be able to claim ‘green’ by simply having a product that “contains over 99% natural ingredients that are biodegradable”? What about their impact on the environment during shipping of the product? The cardboards that the original cleaners came in? Maybe, as consumers we should place pressure on businesses to also unveil their carbon foot print on products. This way, conscious consumers can make a smarter choice as to the products they’re buying, rather being mislead with the words “green”, “eco”, “all natural”, etc.

    Hi Moses, Very interesting comment and questions… – thank you!

    Hmm…I don’t think there’s much that a company like Clorox “forgets.” In fact, I remember vividly how many of the top graduates from my undergrad university competed for positions within Clorox. Clorox attracts the best and the brightest employees and management talent ….this packaging issue and the recycling issue with their Brita filters were not “forgotten,” but were surely calculated decisions based on Return on Investment and their assessment of public interest in these issues.

    And to your questions, they raise a bigger issue…as you peel back layers of the onion, so to speak, how deep do you go to green your product? I do think that a company can claim a product is “green” by having 99% natural ingredients…I think the Green Works product has many positive things going for it…it really works (as I’ve blogged previously) and it is priced right…so the masses can finally adopt green cleaning.

    But I think there is a bare minimum of other sustainable packaging issues that green consumers demand….and that more consumers will demand as we all become more aware of the impact of environmental issues.

    In this case, I think we need to hold Clorox to a very high standard because as a leader in packaging and marketing, they set the standards for so many other companies to follow. What’s more, they are purposely claiming they are going green to capture the green consumer. They do make Green Work refill bottles available, they’re just not distributed well enough at this point.

    And they fought a public fight over recycling of water bottles, encouraging people to switch to Brita filters, without ever making arrangements for recycling their own filters! They can’t just claim “the infrastructure is not there.” There’s much more a company with Clorox’s resources can do to make progress in that area. Here are just a few ideas: What about contributing funding towards building filter recycling facilities in a few areas of the country where most of their filters end up? How about helping public works departments develop the specs that will enable Brita filter recycling? How about studying how the Brita filters are recycled in Europe? Simply saying it’s not possible is not enough…

    — Lynn

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  3. Robert on March 22, 2009 2:39 pm

    I am part of a group that is putting together a business plan to open a chain of stores dedicated to refilling. Basically, we are negotiating with the big suppliers of cleaning, bath, kitchen products, who would sell to us in bulk and then consumers can visit the store to refill all their products in one place. I’m curious what everyone on here would think of such a store?

  4. Robert on March 23, 2009 6:31 am

    If you want more information on the store I mentioned in my previous post, write to me at

  5. Organic and Green Mom Blog | Walmart Knows What’s Best for Us Green Moms. Right? at Organic Mania on October 14, 2009 1:46 pm

    […] dinner once where only two of us had even tread foot inside a Walmart.  But as I’ve blogged here,  here, and here, I actually do shop in Walmart from time to time, and I’ve eagerly cheered them […]

  6. Jane The Organic Gardener on June 20, 2010 8:30 am

    I have enjoyed reading a few of your posts and just wanted to say thanks! I will be coming back soon to enjoy some more.
    .-= Jane The Organic Gardener´s last blog ..5 Organic Vegetable Gardening Tips =-.

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