Scrub Daddy is a sponge known for its looks and its scrubbing power. Although this product is non-toxic, BPA and latex free, there is more that this company needs to do to contribute to a greener future. This product was given an overall rating of 1 because of its initiatives to do better at implementing sustainable practices; however, this company is far from perfect.
Scrub Daddy is a type of sponge that changes texture with temperature. It is made from a polymer foam called Flex Texture, exclusive to their brand. This type of foam allows for texture change, leaves surfaces scratch-free, and resists odors for 8 weeks, which is twice as long as a normal sponge. There is no information on the website on exactly how this polymer foam is made and what about this makes it unique to their own company. Therefore, there is a lack of transparency coming from the company. Scrub Daddy is however non-toxic, BPA, and latex free. There are two sides to the sponge: microfiber and silicone based adhesive. The website states, “test results pending,” when asked if this product is biodegradable and also states that this product is non-recyclable; however, there is a new program to make this product recyclable, which will be discussed in the next section.
Given that this product is convenient, multi-use, attractive, can last up to 8 weeks, but also non biodegradable and lacks transparency on how this polymer foam is made, I would give this section a 0.5 planet rating.
Scrub Daddy manufactures and ships their products from Germany, reducing their emissions, when originally they manufactured just the foam in Germany and would ship it out to the US to be cut. However, that was in an article written in 2013 and another article written in 2021 states that Scrub Daddy does not currently disclose the locations of the rest of their factories. This insinuates that there is possibly inadequate practices occurring at these factories either from employees rights or lack of sustainability measures, overall creating a less transparent and suspicious company.
There is a new recycling rewards program that Scrub Daddy has that makes this product more sustainable than a regular sponge. There are three steps to this process: 1. Create an account on Smile Shop, 2. Select the Recycling Rewards tab to create a return, 3. You are notified by email when your post-consumer product has been received. There is a maximum of five products allowed per recycling return form and you will receive $2.00 in credit/coupons for each item given. Scrub Daddy defines this process as reducing landfill waste and harmful emissions. After this product is shipped back to Scrub Daddy, it’s sent to a recycling facility, where the foam is mixed with other non hazardous materials and shredded and a magnet extracts other harmful metals and what remains gets converted into alternative engineered fuel. The fuel is used to power plants that make cement that paves roads.
Ideally, you would want a product that can be recycled into a product that is better sustainable for a planet, such as a biodegradable product. But the initiative that Scrub Daddy has at least combats the fact that they are non biodegradable, and is better than not doing anything at all. There is a list of more eco-friendly alternatives available such as ENEY Eco-Friendly Natural Sponge, SIMPLYCASA Swedish Dishcloth Sponge, and Miw Piw Natural Dish sponge. The ENEY sponge does a great job at scrubbing dishes, SIMPLYCASA is a cloth that helps wipe up spills, and the Miw Piw provides a lot of scrubbing power.
This section deserves a 1 planet rating because of the efforts by which Scrub Daddy is attempting to complete the life cycle of this sponge. Although this product is not perfect, there are initiatives in place to make it better for a greener future.
Scrub Daddy is a million dollar company founded by Aaron Krause who originally was inspired by his job as a mechanic to create a product that would clean grease off of his hands. After creating this product, Krause applied for Shark Tank where Lori Greiner invested in his company.
The Scrub Daddy headquarters is in Pennsauken Township, New Jersey and is 116,000 square feet with both office space and warehouse space. Originally this product was manufactured in the US, but Krause moved operations to a German manufacturer and refused to disclose the name of it for competitive reasons. There is no information on how these employees are treated on their website or any Life Cycle Assessment report available to the public. Because the polymer foam was invented by Scrub Daddy, Krause had exclusivity on that material and wanted to make sure that the location where they were producing that foam was secure to eliminate the possibility of the process by which this foam is created to be released to the public. Krause admitted that originally, they were producing the material for the product in Germany and shipped it to the US for it just to be cut and the extra pieces being thrown out, thus wasting more fossil fuels. However, now both the material and product are manufactured and produced in Germany, thus cutting the cost and amount of fossil fuel produced.
This section deserves a rating of 0.5 planets. Since Krause moved operations to Germany to cut the cost and amount of emissions produced, this company has done better at producing for a greener future; however, there is little information on exactly how much fossil fuel emissions have been cut down since this transition.