theeagel.com reports that "Many people were shocked to find that products like Seventh Generation, Ecover and Trader Joe's left their dishes encrusted with food, smeared with grease and too gross to use without rewashing them by hand. The culprit was hard water, which is mineral-rich and resistant to soap."
I switched our family over to Trader Joe's, Seventh Generation or Ecover (depending on where I'm shopping) soap months ago and I agree that the earth-friendly products don't work quite as well. But what's the big deal? So what if the glasses have some spots on them? Every once in a while I have to rinse a dish out by hand, but I've experienced none of the grease-smeared grossness described above. I think all of this is a very very very small inconvenience for us humans to suffer in order to protect billions of gallons of pristine river water and millions of fish.
According to NPR there's legislation in the works to ban high phosphate dish detergent nationally in July of 2010. Fine with me.