Part Three: Reducing Environmental Impact Through Smart Packaging
by Compass Cleaning Solutions • June 03, 2016
Do you give as much thought to the way a product is packaged as you do the product itself? I know that when I try to open some blister packs I really pay attention to the packaging. When it comes to cleaning products, packaging and the manufacturing process is just as much of a concern as the product content itself. I believe there are options available to commercial cleaning companies that will force a major rethinking of how we manufacture and bring products to market and will allow for improved environmental impact as well as improved economic savings as well.
Lets start by defining some terms. Ready-to-Use (RTU) by definition has been diluted and packaged by the manufacturer and shipped to the retail location for sale to the end user. Ready-to-Dilute (RTD) is not diluted and is sent to market with the expectation that the end user will prepare the cleaning solution for use. Typically this will be done through a manual measuring process or an automated ‘Dilution Center’ mounted on location (or a portable version) to dispense exact amounts of diluted product for the end user.
So why is RTD better for the environment. Well lets follow a typical RTU product through the process as a comparison. For the purpose of this discussion lets assume a 32 oz. container is used for our RTU product. Lets also assume that we ship 100 gallons of product. That product will weigh approximately 800 lbs. and will have used approximately 97 gallons of water. Now lets look at a RTD product that has a dilution ratio of 32:1. In this case we are shipping only 3 gallons of product weighing only 25 pounds. The cost of fuel (heavy stuff uses more fuel) and the cost of packaging (400 bottles of prepackaged containers made from petroleum products versus 3 one gallon containers) will have a tremendous impact on our environment not to mention our pocketbooks.
Now lets take the RTD solution one step further. Suppose the same product could be manufactured in a dry soluble form. We could reduce costs, manufacturing and packaging waste and impact, even further. Today, Metered dispensing systems, soluble packets and concentrated organic cleaning products are available to janitorial cleaning companies. Now it’s up to us to use them and demand even more. When we do everyone wins, especially our environment.