Social media users are intrigued by — if not exactly impressed with — Tide’s newest introduction.
Tide is releasing a new package for their detergent that’s designed to be more eco-friendly and easier to ship, according to a release from Procter and Gamble. Available starting in January 2019, the product uses 60 percent less plastic and 30 percent less water than the current 150 oz Tide press-tap package and doesn’t require any secondary re-boxing or bubble wrap for shipping.
However, its bag-in-a-box model has some Twitter users pointing out the packaging’s similarity to popular boxed wine brands — and worrying some people will confuse it with an adult beverage.
Comedian Kathy Griffin tweeted her feelings on the new detergent, saying that people shouldn’t be as worried about teenagers consuming it (after the recent Tide Pods controversy) as much as they should be about adults. “People are concerned about kids drinking this?” Griffin wrote. “I have to find a way to keep this away from my 98-year-old mom Maggie! She’s going to see the box and think she’s found her new favorite wine!”
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Griffin isn’t the only person who noticed the box’s resemblance to the cardboard-encased beverage, with some twitter users writing that it was only a matter of time before people start using the Tide to “slap the bag.”
One user couldn’t help but consider boxed wine makers’ response to the situation. “Wonder how Franzia feels about this,” wrote Kailey Townsend.
This wouldn’t be the first time that Americans were confused over whether or not they should consume Tide detergent. In late 2017 and early 2018, health experts warned against the deadly social media craze known as the “Tide Pod Challenge,” in which participants filmed themselves biting into Tide’s soap-filled capsules.
“This is what started out as a joke on the Internet and now it’s just gone too far,” Ann Marie Buerkle, with the Consumer Product Safety Commission told CBS News in January.
The challenge was popular among teens who attempted to consume the tiny, laundry detergent pouches for fun. It became so serious that the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission was forced to tweet out a warning: “Please don’t eat laundry pods.”
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In January, Tide officials wrote on Twitter that eating Tide Pods “is a BAD IDEA” —”What should Tide PODs be used for? DOING LAUNDRY. Nothing else,” officials wrote in the tweet.
In a statement to TIME, a Tide spokesperson said the company was “deeply concerned” about the challenge and was working with social media networks to remove content that promotes eating the capsules.
However, many people on Twitter couldn’t help but draw a comparison between Tide’s latest eco-friendly box and the Tide Pod Challenge.
“This looks like a wine box,” wrote Twitter user Elena Cresci. “Have they learned nothing from the tide pod eating meme”
Another couldn’t help but point out the confusion behind the marketing of the product given the recent history of Tide Pods, while a third joked that the company potentially anticipated the backlash over the product.
Procter and Gamble told PEOPLE of the feedback, “As you can see in the product image (attached), we’ve put a large laundry detergent bottle on the side of the Tide Eco-Box, and we all know laundry detergent is meant to be used for cleaning clothes. Like all household cleaning products, whether your Tide comes in a box or a bottle, it should be stored up and away, out of the reach of children.”
One user took the time to create a photo of Tide Pods next to a cup of laundry detergent, joking that the two would “pair nicely.”
However, some social media users couldn’t help but call out the absurdity of the entire thing, with one person responding to a Buzzfeed article of the news, with a gif saying they “weep for humanity.”
During the Tide Pod challenge, several videos were posted online, of people popping the pods into their mouths and even chewing on them. Some people were shown foaming at the mouth and suffering uncontrollable coughs after the stunt, according to ABC News.
The exact number of deaths related to the Tide Pod Challenge is difficult to estimate, according to the outlet. Accidental poisonings among young children and people suffering from dementia have been reported in recent years. The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) reported eight deaths related to laundry detergent pod ingestion since the products hit the market in 2012, through mid-2017.
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Among the many potentially harmful ingredients used in the pods is a chemical called 1.4 Dioxane, according to ABC. Exposure to the chemical could cause lung damage, kidney problems, and nose and eye irritation.
“Laundry pacs are made to clean clothes,” a Tide spokesperson told ABC in January. “They should not be played with, whatever the circumstance, even if meant as a joke.”
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