Cracker Barrel on Regulating Responsibility

Business and the Environment

“Yes, I am a smuggler.”

Washington state is set to implement an all-out ban on the use of phosphorous rich dish detergent this July.  But, that has only turned Washington residents into smugglers, going across the border to Idaho to get the goods.

Spokane County, Washington banned the sale of dishwashing detergent that contains phosphates last July. Predictably, this ban has caused residents to resort to smuggling contraband Cascade and Electrosol from across the border in nearby Idaho.

As a result, there has been a quiet rush of Spokane-area shoppers heading east on Interstate 90 into Idaho in search of old-school suds.Real estate agent Patti Marcotte of Spokane stocks up on detergent at a Costco in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, and doesn’t care who knows it.

“Yes, I am a smuggler,” she said. “I’m taking my chances because dirty dishes I cannot live with.”

The Refugee has been unable to substantiate rumors of an emerging “phosphate cartel” and increased violence on the Idaho side of the border. When they outlaw phospates, only outlaws will have phosphates.  – Blog coming out of Spokane, April 2009

Despite all the bootlegging, the ban seems to be working.


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