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The eco-conscious washroom

02 December 2015

Paul Halliwell, brand director at Disposables UK, shares his tips on how to achieve a green washroom

'Going Green’ has never been more important in the paper disposables industry. As an industry in which the use of natural resources in the production process is fundamental and which supplies products that need constant replenishment, we have a responsibility to safeguard the environment and ensure we act as ethically as possible. 


Customers are now extremely eco-conscious and demand products that are not only high quality and well-priced, but also ‘green’. This means that creating sustainable products is no longer a choice for manufacturers, it is a necessity. 


Of course, it is important to ensure that our products can really go the distance, delivering cost savings and waste reduction, which is what customers increasingly demand in these challenging economic times. However, it is not just about making ‘green’ products; it is about making sure that our processes and practices are as sustainable as possible, reducing the negative impact on the environment. Companies really need to take a holistic view towards sustainability and should embed this ethos into the heart of their business. It is tied to the ethics of corporate and social responsibility. 


We all have a responsibility to ensure that we create sustainable products and operate our businesses in the most eco-friendly way. In my experience, there are three key elements to ensure a fully sustainable washroom: 


Select the right dispensers

Make sure your dispensing systems offer controlled-use to promote source reduction and discourage paper waste by controlling the amount of towelling dispensed at each use for an effective and efficient dry. Our Bay West products are developed with sustainability at the forefront of their design. The latest Bay West innovation is the Alliance Dispenser which significantly reduces paper waste as it accommodates two full rolls of towels, reducing end of roll wastage and maintenance time. 


Source your materials responsibly  

Only select raw materials from mills that use sustainable forests. All our paper products are sourced from forests with stringent environmental policies that promise that, for every one tree cut down, three new trees will be planted. This proactive approach replenishes the forest and ensures that we do not impact adversely on the environment. 


Manufacturers should also consider the impact of things like the emissions created in production, the packaging used to transport products and the efficiency of the manufacturing plant as these can really make a difference. Truly sustainable products consider all aspects of their production process, from their origins to manufacture, usage and waste disposal. 


Engrain ‘green’ ethics at the heart of your business

To manufacture truly sustainable products, a business needs to engrain ‘green’ ideals into their everyday operations. From achieving zero waste to landfill, to having a paper-free office, the working environment needs to reflect the businesses’ sustainable ethos. Our site in Meltham, Huddersfield, was purpose-built to ensure our practices have as little impact on the environment as possible. For example, our site uses lighting that includes occupancy sensors in areas of use so that manual switching can be eradicated. This means that when the lights are not required they dim automatically to 10% before switching fully off. Not only does this result in direct saving on the total energy used but it also increases lamp life, saving on overall maintenance costs. Also, the lighting in the production area incorporates double switching technology, which allows lamps to be switched to half of the full output when full level lighting is not required. 


Disposables UK’s commitment to sustainability and green practices led to it becoming the first company in the UK away from home industry to be awarded the Eco-label for our Bay West range of hand towels, toilet tissue rolls and Eco-foam soap, making our Bay West range officially ‘green washroom’ products.  As a business we are wholly committed to ensuring our products and practices are as green as possible to safeguard our environment for future generations.