How the Australian commercial cleaning sector is going green in 2018Wednesday, March 14, 2018 Commercial
Recent research from the University of Connecticut suggests there are over 5.25 trillion pieces of plastic in the world’s oceans. With the collective mass of 269,000 tonnes, many nations, including Australia, are becoming increasingly concerned with plastic pollution.
One way the Government taking action is by banning microbeads in personal care and cleaning products, effective July 2018. But what exactly are microbeads and what else can concerned businesses do to improve their green cleaning efforts.
Microbeads and the threat they pose to the environment
As larger plastic breaks down over time, microplastics form. Some microplastics, however, are directly manufactured. This includes microbeads, the small plastics used in exfoliating body and face washes, as well as common cleaning products.
Plastic doesn’t really break down, it just breaks into smaller pieces that become microplastics. These tiny pieces of plastic will be eaten by small marine life along with the toxins they contain and have absorbed. That food chain eventually leads to us. https://t.co/d70iPgRyLS pic.twitter.com/Il9oeKPonl
— The Story of Stuff (@storyofstuff) March 8, 2018
Microbeads may be small, but they can cause big damage.
Microbeads are able to float freely into both fresh and marine water systems.
Because they aren’t captured by wastewater and sewage systems, microbeads float into fresh and marine water systems. There, they sink in large concentrations, affecting the ecosystems of various organisms.
When animals consume plastic, the material builds up in their stomach, causing injury or even death. What’s more, in ecosystems like the ocean, larger predators – who may not consume plastic themselves – can still be affected by eating species who have.
To end this marine pollution, the Government announced a voluntary phase out of microbeads from personal care, cosmetic and cleaning products sold in Australia by July 2018.
We’ve found tiny bits of plastic in some of Scotland’s most remote and unspoilt waters. https://t.co/PeAtxFypCr
— Greenpeace (@Greenpeace) March 11, 2018
Ways to green clean your commercial space
From July, steering clear of microbeads will be a whole lot easier, but there are other ways for savvy businesses to ensure their commercial space is cleaned in a sustainable manner.
1. Toss those nasty products out – but do so carefully
Take a look at the cleaning products in your janitorial closet. Many could contain microbeads as well as other harmful toxins and volatile organic compounds. Read labels carefully and discard any products that could be unsafe for you or Mother Earth.
That said, don’t throw products in the trash or down the drain immediately. See if your city has a program for disposing of toxic liquids to avoid them ending up back in your water supply.
2. Focus on healthy indoor air quality
To keep a space cleaner – and greener – ensure the indoor air is safe and healthy. Keep windows open whenever possible, invest in indoor plants and ensure HVAC systems are in proper working order.
3. Hire an eco-friendly commercial cleaning company
If you really want your space to be cleaned sustainably, employ a professional commercial cleaning company that prioritises the environment.
At ACW Commercial, our team comes backed by an ISO 14001 Environmental Management Certification. Because of our commitment to green cleaning, you can rest assured your commercial space will be kept in top shape with a minimal environmental impact. To find out more, reach out today.