Tripledge Green Wiper Blades; Price: $7.99 to $12.99.
Pros: Long-lasting (I’ve had mine for more than a year); inexpensive; completely recyclable.
Cons: You need to mail them back in your own packaging if you want to recycle them. (Making me wonder how many are actually being recycled.)
I don’t really think about wiper blades all that much. Ever, really, unless they aren’t working or the guy at my local oil change place is trying to talk me into a new pair. Around this time last year a PR person asked if I would review her client’s blades. Coincidentally, my wipers were just starting to make streaky streaks across my windshield, so I agreed. I sent her the make and model of my car, and, when they arrived, installed them myself. (Yes, ladies and gents, installing wiper blades, it turns out, is pretty simple stuff.) And then I sat back and used them for a while.
Let me start out by reminding everyone that I am not part of Consumer Reports or the Good Housekeeping Institute, so my review is more qualitative than quantitative.
Do the wipers, which are manufactured using high-performance silicone, remove water, snow, and other precipitation from my windshield? Yes, they do. Do they streak? No, they do not. Do they make annoying sounds while they’re on? No, they do not. (This is SUCH a major pet peeve for me!) Yes, these wiper blades are, as far as I am concerned, solid, useful blades, which is why the focus of the review is really about the manufacturer’s green claims.
According to the company, “Tripledge Green Wiper Blades are the world’s first fully recyclable wiper blades. You’ll get the superior wipe quality of the Tripledge blade in an eco-friendly package, plus our squeegee recycling program ensures no part of the product will become waste.” Sure, regular rubber wipers may be made with an organic material, but it takes eight pounds of crude oil (a petroleum product) to manufacture a single pound of organic rubber. Another two factoids about rubber I did not know:
- 3,138,767 lbs of wiper squeegee petroleum by-product waste is produced annually in the U.S.
- Globally, the annual amount of petroleum based wiper blade waste from organic rubber wipers is equivalent to 6 football fields covered by 1 foot of waste.
Okay, so if these blades are actually as easy to recycle as the company says they are, I’m a happy camper, right? Blades that work and can be recycled? It’s a no-brainer.
Recycling the original packaging and wiper blade is fairly straightforward. The company says both can be placed right into your recycling bin. Recycling the silicon blades is a little more difficult. You have to remove them from the frame, put them in a self-supplied envelope, and mail them back to the company. The wipers did come with directions, but I didn’t keep them, so I had to go online to figure out how to mail them back. There are no instructions on the website, though, so this step was a little difficult for me.
My advice to Jamak Fabrication, the product’s manufacturer: Swap out the “Keep it Green” window decal for a pre-printed address label. Also, add a link on your website that has a printable label. Once you do those simple things you’ll have something that’s very easy to use and recommend.