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Time out with: Jeremy Freedman

With 25 years under his belt as the owner of bespoke antibacterial wipe manufacturer Guardpack, Jeremy Freedman explains how 100 per cent biodegradable wipes and sachets are the way forward for the company

Who is Guardpack?

The company was founded in 1991 in Chelmsford, Essex, before my wife Hana and I bought it in 1997. Initially specialising in wipes for first aid kits, we have expanded the business to cover a broad range of sectors, including cosmetic, personal hygiene, catering and industrial, and now have 18 members of staff helping us to produce our range of wipes – which can be white-labelled but are also available as the Mywipe brand.

We strongly believe it is our duty to protect our planet and to this end achieved ISO 14001 in 2017 to ensure we continually improve our environmental performance through more efficient use of resources and reduction of waste. Sustainability cannot be achieved alone, however, and we actively encourage our suppliers and clients to do the same. 

Can you tell us more about your biodegradable wipes and recyclable sachets?

We make a considerable investment in sourcing plastic-free materials made from 100 per cent naturally derived renewable fibres that biodegrade in as little as six months. Our list of products that are currently 100 per cent biodegradable are our alcohol wipes 70 per cent and 100 per cent, hand wipes (basic and luxury version), optical lens wipes, and phone wipes. This, alongside our recyclable packaging, reduces the use of plastic significantly for any industry that invests in our products. 

What are the benefits to people and the planet?   

Plastic-free wipes and recyclable packaging are a major benefit to the world we live in. Not only do wrongly flushed wipes cause blockages in our sewers, but the microplastics found in the materials are also frequently ingested by fish and other animals, causing damage to our ecosystems. 

Are there any downsides to the product?

The cost of these materials is currently higher than the alternative, less sustainable products, but we hope to see prices lower as demand increases. Caring for the planet is a team effort, and so is working to reduce the costs of sustainable products. 

How can pharmacy teams raise awareness?  

As wet wipe manufacturers, we obviously like to promote the use of disposable wet wipes and sachets, not only for their convenience but to prevent the spread of bacteria and cross-contamination. Wherever possible, however, we encourage the use of biodegradable products in recyclable packaging and provide instructions on the correct disposal methods. 

What are your future goals for Guardpack?  

Whilst continuing to encourage our customers to choose and develop more sustainable products, our aim is for all of our own-branded Mywipe products to be made from biodegradable and recyclable materials by 2024.

Visit the Guardpack and MyWipe webiste for more information.

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