Phosphates are expensive, not only in production but also in cleanup. They need to be removed from the wastewater, or they will disrupt the phosphor cycle and cause eutrophication. Admittedly, the phosphates contained in laundry detergent are unlikely to cause a major issue, being dwarfed by phosphate mining and water purification.
I believe the environmental concern is the reason recent editions of Tide have elected against phosphate use, and phosphate laundry powders need to be hunted down in retail stores (once, they were ubiquitous).
If you actually believe this crap, then don't buy my products. As you already have acknowledged, the residential contributions of phosphates to wastewater systems is miniscule; particularly as compared to what industry does, and industry isn't limited in this regard. I should know, since I use industrial chemicals to create my products, bought legally & without restrictions within the commercial/industrial cleaning products market.
The big complaint about phosphates is that there is some
evidence that phosphates favor the growth of freshwater alge (pond scum), thus negatively affecting the habitats of fish. This has nominally zero bearing on the environment, unless you happen to be directly dumping your wastewater into streams untreated; which is and has been a crime anywhere in the US for at least 80 years. And if you are doing any such thing, there are many other things more hazardous to fish in there than phosphates. If you use a municipal treatment plant, they artificially create conditions ideal for either anarobic or arobic breakdown; which happen to be conditions ideal for the growth of pod scum anyway. If you live in the countryside and depend upon an individual system, they all pretty much do the same thing on a more local scale. By the time the water leaves the system, it's oxygenated and not at all harmful for fish; even if the levels of phosphates that you use in you dishwasher or washing machine were not increadiblely diluted just by the amount of water you flush down your California approved toilet.
There will be phostphates in my formulas. It does wonders for the dard water problem that aaffects just about every American household that is not within 100 miles of the West Coast.