Minimising environmental impact during staycation season
26 October 2021
THIS year is expected to be the busiest on record as travel restrictions mean that many consumers have turned to home shores for their holidays.
For the hospitality and leisure sector, managing the risk of COVID-19 means that cleaning must remain of the highest priority during the season. At the same time, the desire to be eco-friendly and environmentally conscious remains high for many – consumers included. As awareness around single use plastics and environmental impact rises, hospitality and leisure providers will be keen to show that they are keeping sustainability front of mind. Gill Ireson, head of sales at Robert Scott, talks about the sustainable products available for the hospitality and leisure sector.
“Consumer demand for more environmentally friendly cleaning practices is only going one way: up,” said Gill. “But we also have the presence of coronavirus in our collective mindsets and people want to feel reassured that the space they’re in is clean and safe. That heightened awareness of cleanliness is something that, I believe, has fundamentally changed forever, so it’s important for businesses in all sectors – but particularly hospitality and leisure – to carefully consider the efficacy of products as well as their cost and environmental impact.
“As a manufacturer and supplier, we’ve prioritised the need for sourcing and using greener materials that offer excellent performance with a lower environmental footprint. There are plenty of really incredible cleaning solutions on the market now that not only do the job and do it well, but are kind to the planet, too.”
Key things to look for when considering greener cleaning
The cleaning industry provides essential services to keep hospitality and leisure businesses hygienically clean and germ-free. Going green and using fewer chemicals, less plastic and more eco-effective solutions helps to protect the planet and reduce the impact of cleaning on eco-systems.
“There have been enormous developments in the actual items we use to clean to make these more sustainable,” said Gill. “An example is in Robert Scott’s range of mop heads, which are all made in the UK from 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. Because they’re made here in the UK, they also reduce a business’ carbon footprint using a local supply chain.”
Going green for high level cleaning
Cleaning at a high level can be challenging, but there are tools to make these jobs easier, such as Robert Scott’s microfibre Flexi Cleaning Tool and Duop Reach Kit.
“Microfibre is one of the key products that you need to be using if you want to be embracing greener cleaning methods,” said Gill. “Microfibre cloths pick up dirt and bacteria leaving a surface clean and ready to be disinfected, even without detergents or bleach, and the cloths can simply be washed on a high heat and reused. This means no single-use items in the form of wipes or detergent bottles, and less harmful chemicals being released into the environment.”
Natural fibres are another way to harness excellent cleaning with minimal environmental impact. Robert Scott has used lambswool in product development, for example in its Lambswool Duster, thanks to its hard-wearing nature and ability to attract and hold dust – making it perfect for cleaning high level spaces.
Keeping surfaces clean
Surface cleaning is one of the most regular and important elements of the cleaning process. “Surfaces with high touch points – such as worktops, door handles, taps and buttons – should be cleaned regularly and with an effective cleaner,” explains Gill.
“It’s always been important to maintain cross-contamination control, but it’s never been more important to keep surfaces hygienically clean than it is now. Again, microfibre offers an excellent way to do this – it’s safe, effective and very eco-friendly, especially when compared to disposable cloths and wipes.
“You can also look out for recycled and reusable plastic spray bottles, and cloths made from recycled materials to help reduce your environmental impact.”
Focus on the floor
“Floorcare offers plenty of opportunity to reduce your environmental impact,” added Gill. “There are lots of mops and buckets which are made from recycled materials, and plenty of mop heads are machine washable allowing for multiple uses.
“Microfibre has an important role to play in floorcare and is often found integrated into spray mop heads. Our Pro-Mist mop system delivers a fine mist of cleaning solution directly to the surface, and the microfibre flatmop uses less liquid to clean the area, which means it dries quicker too.”
“Consider looking for FSC-certified wood used in handles, such as mops and brooms, which means the materials are being ethically sourced and renewed by planting new trees,” said Gill.
One key tool that’s being used more widely in the hospitality and leisure sector is Toucan Eco. This is a make-it-yourself, non-chemical cleaning solution that uses nothing more than water, salt and electricity to create a powerful, eco-friendly disinfectant cleaning solution.
Gill explains: “Toucan Eco uses an electrical current to activate a solution of water and salt, creating hypochlorous acid – which is a disinfectant – and sodium hypochlorite at a mild pH which is a gentle cleaner. Because it’s made on-demand using nothing more than household ingredients, it’s much better for the environment – there’s no shipping of large quantities of cleaning solution, no harmful chemicals released into the eco system and no single use plastic bottle waste that can’t be recycled.”
Because the Toucan Eco range is available in a number of different unit sizes from 350ml up to 350 litres, it’s suitable for businesses of all shapes and sizes. And, as consumers continue to demand environmentally friendly cleaning methods from hospitality and leisure businesses, there’s no time like the present for businesses to make the switch. For more information visit https://www.robert-scott.co.uk