With mounting pressure on businesses to eliminate plastic consumption, the washroom can be targeted to significantly reduce plastic waste.
Many hygiene products are manufactured in single-use packaging and contain microplastics that end up in our waterways and pose a considerable threat to our environment and potentially human health. With advancements in sustainable alternatives, a more eco-friendly approach to the management of your facilities washroom is becoming more accessible.
What are microplastics?
You may have heard of this term, but what actually are microplastics? Microplastics are tiny plastic particles that result from product development and the breakdown of larger plastics. They can be found in various forms.
- Primary microplastics are manufactured at a small scale and intentionally added to products like personal care items (e.g. microbeads in exfoliating scrubs) and cleaning products
- Secondary microplastics result from the breakdown of larger plastic items, like bottles or bags, due to environmental factors, such as sunlight, wind, and water.
- Synthetic polymers are a liquid form of microplastics and are used in many liquid and foam soaps as a binding agent.
As well as the plastics that are more obvious to the eye, these harmful plastic particles pollute our waters, entering the animal food chain and our own bodies.
Checking product labelling
As the drive towards a plastic-free society accelerates, it is now more important than ever to consciously look for products that are plastic-free. When looking for recyclable materials, a FSC® Recycled certified stamp and the EU Ecolabel certification also highlights that a product has a reduced environmental impact.
When examining the labels of hygiene products, look for ingredients such as polyethylene, polypropylene, and nylon, which are commonly used microplastics and opt for products that do not contain these ingredients. Liquid and foam soaps can be developed without containing microplastics and synthetic polymers, so these should be the go-to to create a more eco-friendly washroom.
There are many ways to produce hygiene packaging with sustainability in mind. Products such as hygiene papers are most suited to recycled paper packaging, which can in fact can reduce the use of virgin plastic by 60%. Corrugated cardboard offers an ideal alternative for plastic packaging and means that less waste will contribute to landfill sites. Over 40% of the world’s populations since January 2023 have been living in areas where plastic waste generated has already exceeded the capacity to manage it. Choosing products packaged in recyclable materials can significantly reduce this pressure on landfill and is now more vital than ever before.
Governments across Europe are rapidly implementing more laws and regulations to eradicate plastics, such as the UN treaty to end plastic pollution. Therefore, businesses will have to examine their sustainability strategies. Although it may not seem an obvious point of call, targeting the washroom is an ideal way to significantly reduce plastic waste for any business and boost environmental efforts.
The future of plastic free washrooms
The growing amount of sustainable alternatives available mean that a washroom facility can still maintain a high standard of hygiene without damaging the planet and the health of people who use it.
Freeing your washroom facility of plastics is a vital step in reducing your businesses environmental footprint and contributing to a healthier planet. By making conscious choices about the products you use and adopting eco-friendly alternatives, a business can significantly reduce the amount of plastic and microplastics it disposes.
Satino by WEPA is one of the leading suppliers of sustainable hygiene products, offering tailored-to-fit solutions for businesses of all sizes and scopes. Follow us on LinkedIn or to view our products made from recycled materials with recycled packaging, take a look at our range: www.satino-by-wepa.eu