BERKELEY, CALIF.—VASKA, a Berkeley, Calif.-based producer of green, botanically-based laundry care products for the commercial, institutional and consumer markets, announced that Royal Laundry of South San Francisco, the largest privately owned commercial laundry on the West Coast, is washing one million pounds of laundry a week using Vaska’s green laundry solutions in its three state-of-the-art tunnel systems. Royal Laundry washes laundry for more than 100 Northern California hotels.
Royal Laundry has been a major commercial laundry service provider in the Bay Area for 47 years. When Royal began to encounter challenges with its previous chemical supplier, Don Luckenbach , Royal’s president, decided to look for alternatives. He toured major plants across the United States to look for formulas that would meet his quality and performance criteria and asked for proposals from the top contenders. When Vaska’s CEO Julia Fry proposed tests using her green formulas, he was skeptical. After a highly successful 10-day test on their largest tunnel, he was ready to give the go-ahead. Months later the changes at Royal are tangible to Luckenbach.
“Now, when I walk into the plant in the morning I am greeted by the smell of lavender, and it makes me feel good that I am making a contribution to the health of our employees and the environment,” Luckenbach said.
Washing millions of pounds to the high standards of Royal’s luxury hotel customers in the San Francisco hospitality industry requires complex chemical formulas that have traditionally contained phosphates, petroleum-based surfactants, and toxic solvents. VASKA has changed the rules of commercial laundry by introducing a plant-based ‘herbatergent’ that was honored with the EPA’s SDSI (Safer Detergents Stewardship Initiative) designation and other environmentally responsible biodegradable products that clean as effectively as traditional chemicals without damaging linens in the process.
“We are competing load for load on price and quality with traditional chemical approaches, and the fact that we are not dumping petroleum-based detergents and solvents into the plant outflow makes a significant contribution to improving local water quality,” said Mike McFillin, VASKA’s head of technical sales.
“VASKA is passionate about cleaning without poisoning the planet,” said Julia Fry, VASKA’s CEO and founder. “We’ve proven that green chemistry can provide quality superior to toxic laundry chemicals. There is no reason to continue damaging linens, workers’ safety, and polluting the bay, when there are safe, viable options. We’re deeply committed to health, safety, and linen quality, and it shows in our results.”
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