During Zero Waste Week we are looking at ways to cut
some of the waste we produce in our everyday lives. Today’s focus is
on cleaning and hygiene.
Interserve’s cleaning solutions are a
great example of minimising waste.
We dispense concentrated cleaning products from bulk containers
and dilute them with water, so we cut down the
number of plastic
bottles we dispose of. Reusable microfibre
cloths do a great job
of picking up dirt and dust and we don’t
need to use large
quantities of cleaning chemicals or single use
The hand soap we recommend to clients is a foaming product,
which dispenses 1000 doses per litre bottle, compared to 250 doses of
traditional liquid soap, meaning we produce 75% fewer empty plastic bottles.
Wet wipes, cotton buds and sanitary products are often found
washed up on beaches, or as part of “fatbergs” and blockages, having
escaped our sewage treatment systems into rivers and seas. They are
almost always made of plastic. At Interserve we don’t use single-use
wipes for cleaning.
What can I do about this?
The internet is a great source of hacks and information about
eco-cleaning, using household products like vinegar, bicarb and lemon
juice to shift dirt and limescale and avoiding plastic bottles.
Say “No” to single use – cleaning cloths and detachable mop
heads can be washed after use.
If they can’t be avoided, wet wipes should NEVER be flushed
down the toilet (even if they are marketed as “flushable wipes”). Only
the “3Ps” should go in the loo – pee, poo and paper, everything else
should go in the bin.
If you have children in nappies, have you tried reusable cloth
nappies? They are much easier to use and to wash than they used to be!
Reusable wet wipes are available too and flannels do the job of wiping
sticky hands and faces. Even if it’s not ideal to use them all the
time, it might be possible to cut down the number of disposables by
using cloth nappies and wipes for some of the time. Have a look at
www.thenappylady.co.uk for advice on the different brands and how to
Sainsburys has recently announced it will stop selling
plastic-applicator sanitary products. There has been huge developments
in this field and to find out more, go to www.citytosea.org.uk/plasticfreeperiods.