Making First Aid Products Plastic Free and Zero-Waste

There are now products which can make first aid protocol a little more sustainable and curbs waste generation while healing.

While the world has woken up to the horrors of plastic pollution and many trying to live plastic-free, there are areas where going plastic-free has been more challenging than most.

Healthcare and first aid procedures where it is hygienic to use plastic is one such. But now, it is possible to make our first aid procedures low waste. One of the most widely used items in first aid is bandages and focusing on making this widely used item more sustainable, a company called PATCH has made 100% natural adhesive bandages.

These bandages are made of 100 percent biodegradable and recycled materials (wrapper and paper packaging included), natural, kid-friendly, hypoallergenic, soothing, vegan, and cruelty-free.

The bandages are made from 100 percent bamboo fibre and mineral-based Pressure Sensitive Adhesive (PSA), which will break down and compost. The colouring on all items is natural. The innovation has won the NEXTY Award’s “Best New Natural Living Product” of 2019.

PATCH won NEXTY Award 2019

“We are very excited that our natural bamboo bandages have been awarded the winner for this years Nexty Award,” said PATCH Founder & CEO James Dutton.

“We have worked so hard to provide the world a natural alternative, with minimal packaging footprint. Ultimately it was our goal to make our product safe for sensitive skin, and the environment. Our strips can break down into soil in a matter of weeks!,” Dutton said.

That’s not all, according to the company, the PATCH bandages are completely Merthiolate/Thimerosal free and is a ‘safe way to heal wounds’. Merthiolate poisoning can occur when the substance is swallowed or if a large amount comes in contact with your skin.

If the skin is exposed to small amounts over a prolonged period of time, Merthiolate poisoning can also occur. Many people experience mild to severe skin reactions if exposed to small amounts Merthiolate found in common wound care products.

The PATCH comes in Four variants: The Natural Organic PATCH strips made from organis bamboo fibre, the Coconut Oil PATCH gauze, is made from only coconut oil on 100% organic bamboo fibre. The Aloe Vera PATCH gauze is made from only Aloe Vera and 100% organic bamboo fibre. The Activated Charcoal PATCH is made of only activated charcoal powder, a perforated biodegradable cellulose layer (to hold the charcoal in place and 100% organic bamboo fibre.

According to Dutton, what makes PATCH the more eco-friendly option starts at its production. PATCH is created using a Lyocell Production process, which is considered to be the most environmentally friendly method of manufacturing bamboo cloth fiber.

All compounds used are non-toxic and much safer than commercial processing chemicals. In fact, 99.5 percent of the elements used in this process can be captured and recycled which avoids air and water pollution. Another reason PATCH is the more eco-friendly option is that PATCH is the only bandage that is 100 percent plastic-free, compostable, and biodegradable.

While these products are only available in U.S. and Australia, we hope that innovators elsewhere will too get motivated to come up with ways that will make transitioning towards zero-waste or circular economy easier.

Image courtesy PATCH

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