It's no secret that our planet is facing many environmental challenges. From plastic pollution and toxic landfills, to global warming and natural resource depletion. Worldwide media scrutiny is now propelling consumers, businesses and governments alike to take meaningful actions in reversing negative environmental impacts. Europe has seen a rise in plastic-free supermarket aisles; India is investing more in renewable energies than it is in fossil fuels; and Costa Rica is pledging that its electricity production will be 100 percent renewable by 2021.
To directly address the issue of sustainability, the engineering of products is now rapidly shifting. Minimal design considerations that once encouraged disposability are now being replaced with life cycle assessments for improved product durability. This is particularly applicable to polymer products. Manufacturers are now working to create more robust plastic products that withstand long-term repeated use and do not break easily. There is also an increased emphasis on end-of-life recycling, easy-to-clean designs, and products that can be repaired.
At Microban, we strive to create solutions that contribute to sustainable product development. Our core technologies foster better product design, enhance product longevity, and align brands worldwide with key sustainability initiatives. And here's how we do it.
Ensuring sustainability in manufacturing
Microban® antimicrobial additives are developed and quality controlled under Microban Products Company, an ISO 9001:2015 certified company. Special measures are put into place during the manufacturing of these advanced antimicrobial additives to ensure sustainability considerations. These include virtually no raw material waste generation in the blending process, full recovery & recycling of process water, and the use of natural gas in melt operations.
Formulating antimicrobials that create cleaner products and conserve energy
Microban strives to develop innovative technologies that complement regular cleaning and hygiene practices. Proven to inhibit the growth of damaging microorganisms and absorb smells, Microban® extends the useful lifespan of products and surfaces. Built-in antimicrobial technologies may also allow for utilization of less harmful cleaning products and lend to water conservation.
Enhancing products to save consumers and municipalities money
Microban® technologies provide an added level of protection for products that cannot be regularly maintained. Our solutions actively enhance product cleanliness and durability, equating to less replacements and lower remediation costs for both consumers and municipalities.
Increasing the recyclability of polymers
Built-in Microban® protection increases the recyclability of plastic products by:
- reducing microbial load in contaminated recycled streams where there is insufficient heat to kill all microbes (e.g. recycled foamed materials for carpet underlayment); and
- reducing the ability of microbes to grow in polymers with high residual contaminated carbon content (e.g. recycled polymers with residual food content).
Lowering the consumption of cleaning and odor cover-up chemistries
Microban offers a selection of targeted odor neutralization solutions that have been designed to combat specific odors. The utilization of these technologies mean that less odor cover-up and cleaning chemistries are needed to maintain a pleasant environment.
Participating in independent certification bodies
Microban aligns our processes and technologies with the professional standards of ISO, BlueSign, and Okeo-Tex. This ensures full transparency in the areas of chemical sourcing, manufacturing, supply chain integrity, and the performance of our products.
Investing in research
Microban believes in continual investment in research to secure a future with more sustainable products. Our experienced team of scientists are developing chemistries and innovative application approaches to ensure we fully contribute to eco design and sustainability aspects.
There is no 'I' in the quest for a cleaner planet and everyone has a part to play. For more information on how you can create more sustainable products, contact Microban today.
Written by Kimberley Cherrington, International Marketing Manager - Built-In