Kitchenmaster has been manufacturing specialist cleaning and hygiene products for over 30 years. We understand the importance of helping to protect the environment. Kitchenmaster will continue to make effective, quality products while taking this growing concern into consideration.
KITCHENMASTER’S ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY
Kitchenmaster is committed to manufacturing high quality products while also reducing the impact they have on the environment wherever possible. Kitchenmaster comply with all legislation and environmental policies. The Northern Ireland Environment Agency conduct regular site audits to ensure all standards are being adhered to.
There are many different types of ‘green labelling’ but what exactly are the ‘green’ elements of cleaning products? With the Kitchenmaster products these include the chemical itself, the packaging and the manufacturing.
All Kitchenmaster products comply with the very strict European legislation on biodegradability (Regulation EC No. 648/2004). This legislation covers the primary biodegradability and final biodegradation of products.
The surfactants used in the Kitchenmaster products are biodegradable, which means they will be broken down by micro-organisms in a sewage treatment process by at least 60% and converted into carbon dioxide in 28 days (often the surfactants exceed this 60% target and are over 90% biodegradable in 28 days).
• All products are phosphate free unless they are absolutely necessary and are present for a specific purpose. The British Association for Chemical Specialities (BACS) agrees with this reasoning. Phosphates perform several important cleaning functions one of them being that they soften water helping the break up of dirt on fabrics and preventing soil from re-depositing itself on the surface to be cleaned. This is why they are necessary in laundry products. However phosphates cause Eutrophication so all other Kitchenmaster products are phosphate free. Eutrophication is a process whereby water bodies, such as lakes, receive excess nutrients that stimulate excessive plant growth (algae, attached algae, and nuisance plants and weeds). This enhanced plant growth, often called an algal bloom, reduces dissolved oxygen in the water when dead plant material decomposes and can cause other organisms to die.
• Since the 1980’s Kitchenmaster have been pro-actively replacing certain raw materials with more acceptable alternatives. NP9 is a type of APE (Alkyl Phenol Ethoxylate) and this has been replaced with a more environmentally friendly alternative.
• Formaldehyde is classified as ‘Toxic’ in classification and is suspected to be carcinogenic. Formaldehyde was discontinued from all Kitchenmaster products many years ago. The raw material NTA is often used in dishwash liquid formulations but under REACH guidelines this has to be replaced as it may have carcinogenic properties. Kitchenmaster can confirm that this has taken place. The concentration of Hydrochloric acid in products has been reduced to a lower concentration and this is both more environmentally and user friendly.
The different companies that supply Kitchenmaster with packaging promote recycling and the use of recovered materials. All conform to current and known future environmental legislation, below are some examples:
• The sum of the concentration levels of lead, cadmium, mercury and hexavalent chromium is below 100ppm. This is the level to which all packaging shall conform on or after 30th June 2001.
• No substances or preparations classified as dangerous to the environment and assigned the symbol “N” as required by Directive 67/548/EEC will arise in emissions, ash and leachate from incineration or landfill.
• Packaging is required to be recoverable by one of the following: material recycling, energy recovery or composting / biodegradation. We can certify that based on the high level of recycling of corrugated products, corrugated packaging is recoverable in the form of material recycling. As the packaging contains more than 50% organic material, corrugated packaging is recoverable through incineration with energy recovery. Paper based products such as corrugated packaging are generally considered to be biodegradable.
• A number of Kitchenmaster’s suppliers are members of REPAK which is the voluntary recycling organisation set up in the Republic of Ireland. Containers that are manufactured from High Density Polyethylene (HDPE) all have the recycling triangle on the base. This allows for ease of material recognition by recyclers of plastics.
• The cardboard, closure containers and blown film that the products are wrapped in are all recycled.
• Pollution prevention is integrated in all scopes of management. The supplier companies aim to prevent, control and diminish the environmental impacts that their activities generate on the surroundings.
• All of the Kitchenmaster Housekeeping range have a trigger spray rather than an aerosol and therefore all Kitchenmaster products are CFC free.
• Kitchenmaster manufacture millions of litres of liquid chemicals per year and all are subject to a stringent quality policy. Please see our Quality Policy under ‘Regulatory Compliance’ for more information.
• In 2008 a substantial investment was made in a large bunded area to prevent accidental chemical spillage contaminating the environment. With a capacity for storage of 150,000 litres of chemical, the bunded area is more than capable of storing all Kitchenmaster’s raw chemicals at any time.
• Kitchenmaster have an effective waste management system. We try to minimise all waste but any that is produced is disposed of in an environmental and safe way.
• All pallets that are delivered to Kitchenmaster are reused and recycled either by Kitchenmaster for storing warehouse stock or for deliveries to customers.
• Kitchenmaster run an energy saving factory by using water, electricity and heating efficiently and effectively.
A carbon footprint is the measure of the environmental impact of a particular individual or organisation's lifestyle or operation, measured in units of carbon dioxide. Many cleaning products are ready to use and do not require dilution. On the other hand many chemicals are concentrated and require water and therefore these products will have different carbon footprints.
In reducing the environmental impact of cleaning products you need to consider the amount of packaging used for the product, the waste involved and the transportation of the product. For example a ready to use product will have little chemical waste however there will be a lot of packaging and transportation. A concentrated 5L product will use less packaging but there is more product waste involved, by virtue of the end user’s tendency to over apply. The products with the lowest carbon footprint are the super concentrated products (such as Reload) which have little chemical waste as they are accurately dosed through dispensers and have little packaging and low transportation.
All chemical products have an impact on the environment but Kitchenmaster provides Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) and Technical Sheets on all products and these give advice on the best and most effective way to use the product. MSDS are important in helping make the workplace safe and to protect the environment. They help to make a risk assessment as required by the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations (COSHH). Kitchenmaster also provide training on what chemicals to use, how to use them, where to use them and COSHH training. This ensures that the product is used in the most effective way and prevents unnecessary waste etc. Cleaning schedules, wall charts and literature are all available.
The general principal of sustainability is to reduce consumption of resources in order to help preserve the world's natural resources and reduce emissions to minimise pollution. Kitchenmaster do what they can in order to be sustainable.
We aim to reduce the creation of waste in as many situations as possible as any improvement contributes towards the conservation of the environment.
Wherever possible we try to purchase raw materials in large quantities. Bulk delivery eliminates the use of small drums and excessive packaging, reduces the frequency of deliveries therefore reducing carbon emissions.
All lighting in the factory, warehouses, laboratories and offices have been converted to low energy bulbs to conserve energy.
Kitchenmaster have been in contact with the Carbon Trust Standard. The Carbon Trust Standard certifies that an organisation is genuinely tackling climate change by measuring, managing and reducing its own carbon footprint.
There are a number of websites which may be of interest to our readers:
• Environment agency www.environment-agency.gov.uk
• Northern Ireland Environment agency www.ni-environment.gov.uk/
• Environmental Protection Agency (for Ireland) www.epa.ie
• British Association for Chemical Specialities (BACS) www.bacsnet.org
• REPAK www.repak.ie
• Carbon Trust www.carbontrust.co.uk
• Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs (defra) www.defra.gov.uk/carbonreduction