Spotlight on sustainability

As we embark upon a new year, Alastair Scott, Sales Director at Robert Scott, takes stock of the business’ focus for 2020, and its plans to shine an even brighter spotlight on sustainability in the years to come.

More than ever before, customers and their janitorial staff are increasingly aware of the need to make more sustainable choices when it comes to their cleaning

regime. They are making more considered product choices that are less harmful to users and have

better environmental credentials, or finding ways to reduce plastic waste and increase recyclable materials throughout the supply chain.

To align with our customers’ sustainability targets, as well as our own, Robert Scott has set out to achieve more sustainable milestones in 2020 and beyond through product innovation, reducing plastic packaging, and developing new technology by applying over 90 years’ cleaning knowhow.

Reducing plastic packaging

Packaging is one of the biggest contributors to plastic waste in all sectors, not just in the janitorial market, with the majority of single-use plastic being used to package products.

With this in mind, in 2020 we’ll continue to deliver a 100% recycled and 100% recyclable spray bottle that’s made here in the UK out of plastic milk bottles that would otherwise go to straight to landfill. This allows end users to dispense cleaning fluids without the waste and environmental impact of single-use plastic bottles, which are often made from virgin plastic.

What’s more, it takes less energy to create bottles from recycled plastic than it does to use virgin plastic, meaning we are also reducing our carbon footprint during the manufacturing process.

Additionally, we are rolling out a new biodegradable wrap to protect and package items. This reduces the life of the packaging – an important step towards finding new ways to reduce the environmental impact of packaging waste.

Eco-friendly innovation

We’re also continuing to develop our bio-cleaning range, Toucan Eco, a sustainable and chemical-free disinfectant and cleaning solution which removes the need for 80% of chemical cleaning products, while significantly reducing single-use plastic bottles and cutting costs for a business.

Chemical-free cleaning has a multitude of benefits for both the user and our environment, and this technology is trusted by a huge range of industries around the world. It protects marine ecosystems, disinfects drinking water, combats Legionella, and is used to safely disinfect and clean in everything from fish processing to carpet cleaning, salad packing to flower cultivation and dairy farming.

The applications are endless. And it’s being used more and more by the cleaning industry in restaurants, schools, nurseries, universities, government buildings, airports and offices.

Re-thinking our core products

As a business, it’s not just product innovation where we are looking to improve the sustainability of our products. We’ve also set our sights on our core offering of traditional cleaning products such as mops, brooms and cloths – products that are used day-in-day-out and which aren’t often associated with being typically ‘green’. We felt it’s time to remind ourselves on the sustainable merits of these traditionally-produced products.

Robert Scott’s mops, manufactured here in the UK at our mills in the north west of England, are made using sustainably-sourced materials. The cotton used in the mop heads is sourced from waste produced during the spinning process, giving a use for a material that would otherwise be disposed of. Our floor and dish cloths are also manufactured using recycled shredded clothing, which means we are diverting textile waste from landfill and again giving it another use.

We recently started to sell a range of wooden brushware and broom handles created from sustainable sources. The best way we felt we could achieve this was by supplying products certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) – an international non-profit organisation dedicated to promoting responsible forestry in areas that people and wildlife call home. These products include the likes of our wooden brooms and hand brushes, and is an initiative we’ll continue with throughout 2020 and beyond. 28 | FEATURE

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