Infection Protection Products’ Sani-touch Saniwipes wins the Shoprite Group’s inaugural Sustainability Award

Saniwipes
Saniwipes

Infection Protection Products’ Sani-touch has been named the Shoprite Group’s Supplier of the Year in the Sustainability category. This is the first year that Sustainability has been recognised as a category in Shoprite’s supplier awards.

Wipes have become an environmental hazard globally, falling into the category of single use plastics.  The glib assumption is that it would be far easier to simply issue a ban on these products to keep them out of land fill. However, as Sani-touch Marketing Director Annette Devenish explains, not only would this result in job losses but pre-saturated wipes play an important role.

“Pre-saturated wipes have proved invaluable in the fight against viruses and bacteria, and especially during the Covid-19 pandemic. The challenge, however, is to ensure that the used wipes don’t end up in landfill. To ensure this goal we started investigating how this could be achieved.”

Their research led them to Katlehong-based entrepreneur Hudon Diphofa who established a business called Structural Poly Plastics after he was retrenched in 2020 during the pandemic. The company also discovered that by making small changes to its wipes and putting appropriate processes in place, it could ensure that they could be repurposed into long-lasting and durable products that have value to society.

It was just over a year ago that Sani-touch launched its green 100% recyclable Saniwipes as part of its drive to recycle used wipes into plastic pallets for use in its own factories and warehouses.

When the idea was pitched to Sanjeev Raghubir, Sustainability Manager at the Shoprite Group, he embraced the idea. Fast forward a year later, and all the used green trolley wipes at the entrance of Shoprite and Checkers stores are being collected, sorted and recycled into pallets, garden benches, bird feeders and even jungle gyms which are donated to under-resourced schools.

“The more we travel down this road the more uses we are finding for repurposed plastics and the more value we are discovering in recycling and upcycling,” reports Devenish. “Rather than banning used wipes, the repurposed products are creating jobs while the repurposed products are serving a useful purpose. What started as an infection control wipe, introduced to protect the transmission of bugs and bacteria from runny-nosed children, has resulted in, amongst other products, jungle gyms being made from those same wipes. It has been particularly gratifying to see the excitement on young children’s faces when we deliver a new jungle gym to their school.”

Devenish says Infection Protection Products is incredibly grateful to the Shoprite Group for embarking on this journey with it. “The Shoprite Group is very serious about its sustainability strategy and so to be recognised as the Sustainability Award winner at its annual Supplier of the Year Awards is a real honour,” she says.

For Infection Protection Products and its Sani-touch range of products, the journey is still in its infancy. “We hope that in time other retailers will join us on this journey. Together we can make a meaningful difference to sustainability – recycle more, upcycle more, empower more people and create more jobs,” she concludes.

 

About Infection Protection Products

Infection Protection Products is a 33-year old proudly South African manufacturing business with significant experience and expertise in the hygiene market. Its mission – even before the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic – is to provide protection against viruses and ever-present germs. The company supplies its high-quality detergent disinfectant and sanitising products primarily to retailers, manufacturing facilities, factories, schools, clinics and hospitals.

The company is best known for its Sani-touch range of products, including the Sani-touch Saniwipes trolley and hand sanitising wipes found at the entrance to retail stores across the country. Saniwipes were the first trolley and hand sanitising wipes available in South Africa. These trusted wipes were recently changed to green in colour and incorporated into a circular recycling system which is allowing used wipes to be repurposed into jungle gyms, benches, pallets and even bird feeders.

The company’s Medi-touch product range of medical grade wipes and sanitisers are supplied to the healthcare industry including hospitals, clinics, emergency and blood services.

All products are manufactured in an ISO accredited facility to optimum quality standards, are registered with the National Regulator for Compulsory Specifications (NRCS) and many of them have SABS approval. The company holds a medical device manufacturing and distribution license. In addition, the Sani-touch range is internationally accredited after passing the Coronavirus EU 14476 test proving its efficacy against the Covid-19 virus. Supplier Awards (74).jpg