Today sees hand sanitiser as one of the world’s most sought after products. The messages to wash our hands with soap and use hand sanitisers regularly are everywhere.
Before coronavirus, the world produced about 300,000 litres, according market analysts Arizton Advisory and Intelligence (BBC, 2020), this is less than a thousandth of what are we producing today. If everyone in the world had one small bottle of sanitiser we would need 385 million litres of this stuff. With the most popular sizes being 50 and 80ml, can you just imagine the amount of plastic bottles produced and discarded around the world?!
Let’s look at Ireland; with the adult population of approximately 3.7million, if everyone uses only 1 small bottle of hand sanitiser per month, this would equate to over 44 million plastic bottles per year.
According to Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (2020) sanitising liquids and gels need to consist of 60% or greater concentrations of ethyl alcohol. Alcohol based hand sanitising fluids are flammable liquids at room temperature. As a result, any unused or partially used containers of hand sanitising liquid that are no longer wanted must be disposed of as Hazardous Waste. Only containers meeting the legal definition of empty can be recycled or discarded in the regular trash (University of Rochester, 2009).
The question surrounding recyclability of hand sanitisers, represents an enormous problem. After we’ve overcome this challenging Covid-19 pandemic, do we really want to face another one - the plastic waste pandemic?
We need to start thinking about these issues before we face an overwhelming environmental challenge.
Our solution for this problem is refillable hand sanitiser in 5litre packaging, in combination with reusable refillable silicone bottles. You can have these bulk hand sanitisers at home or at work and refill your individual silicone bottles of hand sanitiser, carry them with you and use them time and time again. Silicone bottles can also be branded with your company logo; this not only sends a very positive message about your environmental responsibility to your clients and teams but also shows your health commitments to protect them.
But why silicone? Silicone is one of the most sustainable materials. It’s durable, and more ocean-friendly than plastic and doesn’t not rely on fossil fuels for its production. It lasts longer, and stands up better against heat and cold than plastics. When burned, silicone reverts back into its harmless ingredients: amorphous silica, carbon dioxide, and water vapour, unlike plastic which releases toxins when burned (Silicone vs plastic, 2020).
Protecting ourselves and others and our planet, starts with us. We are in this together and we can fight it together. Let’s leave no trace by doing it.