BioHygiene’s Jamie Green believes that distributors should move into offering greener cleaning products as part of an overall environmentally aware strategy:
Following the most worrying UN report yet on issues facing our environment, it is in everybody’s interest to use greener, eco-friendly alternatives wherever possible. And, with government officials and a number of charity organisations suggesting that the problem is worse than first thought, is it time for the industry’s distributors and suppliers to start offering a greater range of ‘green’ cleaning products?
At Cardiff-based BioHygiene, which provides eco-friendly and biological cleaning products, we believe a change in the norm for cleaning products can’t come soon enough. We pride ourselves on our eco-friendly ethos and extensive research and development programme. Our specialist team of biochemists and microbiologists constantly work to improve the eco-friendly nature and the cleaning quality of our products.
According to my BioHygiene colleague, technical director, Dr Carolyn Jones, the cleaning industry has been forced into significant change over the past 50 years. It is only a generation ago that the industry was using formaldehyde and mineral acids to clean. Even now, the vast majority of cleaning products are sold containing harmful chemicals such as bleach, quats and petrochemical based surfactants; all of which have been in news scares around cancer, pollution or skin irritation.
Unfortunately, it seems eco-friendly and biological cleaning products have taken off in the domestic market at a greater rate than in the commercial market. When one considers the sheer amount of chemicals used in the catering industry in comparison to the domestic market, it is the commercial market that should be taking the lead.
If we were to see an increase in the number of eco-friendly products and brands offered by suppliers and distributors, the competition would inevitably bring the prices down further, which would then make end buyers more likely to purchase green cleaning products.
It is a common misconception that biological and eco-friendly cleaning products are more expensive than their traditional counterparts but offer no extra benefits. Used individually and at comparative concentrations, natural alternatives will often not be as efficacious as traditional chemical alternatives and will certainly be more expensive.
However, careful selection and testing over nearly a decade has allowed us to satisfy all of our goals relating to product performance, value for money, better health and safety profiles with a lower environmental footprint. We aim to replace undesirable ingredients by using a clever combination of biological actives, organic acids, eco-solvents, plant extracts and naturally derived sustainable surfactants that work in synergy, fully optimising the attributes of each individual ingredient. Thus, it is a multi-pronged approach with each ingredient justifying its place in the formulation and contributing to overall performance and efficacy.
There is no denying that the catering industry as a whole is a major culprit in contributing to global warming and environmental damage. Major industry causes include massive energy consumption, multiple deliveries on a daily basis and food waste; all of which require complex and difficult resolutions. It is clear that switching to eco-friendly cleaning products is one of the simplest ways that our industry can improve its environmental footprint. And, with the massive advances in technology and performance – coupled with cost-in-use no longer being a barrier – the use of eco-friendly must become an industry norm.