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Unilever logo

Hand-washing, home-cleaning and water-saving solutions are among the six briefs unveiled by Unilever in its forthcoming sustainability hackathon.

The FMCG giant is inviting pitches, via its start-up initiative The Foundry, from innovative start-ups to solve sustainability issues.

Entrants will be challenged to offer solutions which help children to be more active, optimise laundry washes to reduce energy use and which provide better hand-washing facilities in low-income areas.

They will also be asked to solve problems for women in developing countries, such as creating peer-to-peer networks for cleaning homes, and solutions which save water and time washing the dishes.

There is also a challenge to help Knorr tell its story, from “farm to fork”.

Karen Hamilton, vice president of sustainable business at Unilever, said: “We are excited to be launching these challenging new briefs which are deliberately broad in scope so as not to stifle creativity. We want to hear from those who believe they can partner with us at scale and by offering winners access to internal expertise as well as financial support and we hope this is a catalyst that will help us uncover ideas to help make sustainable living commonplace.”

Winning start-ups and entrepreneurs at the hackathon, which runs from 21-22 October, may be invited to take part in a paid pilot scheme, which will be backed with $50,000 (£30,774) to develop and test their idea.

A single winner at the event will also receive a £5,000 prize.

The Foundry’s initial sustainability hackathon brief asked: “In a data driven, always-on world, how can we bring the idea of Sustainable Living to life in a way that’s interesting and relevant to everyday living? What is the role of data to enable this and how can we influence daily habits through data so that people want to live more sustainably?”

The six briefs, in full, are:

Laundry – greener wash

We believe that innovative digital solutions can help people get the best possible performance and efficiency from their laundry machine wash, whilst decreasing Green House Gas emissions.

What are we looking for?

We are looking to partner with companies who can provide a digital solution that uniquely optimizes each wash. This may include sensors and/or automatic dosage tools that customizes the wash based on the load and water quality.

Sunlight – every drop counts

Sunlight is the market leader in hand dishwashing detergent. Particularly in developing and emerging markets, women spend millions of hours every year washing their dishes and collecting water to wash their dishes.

What are we looking for?

Sunlight is committed to unlock women’s time through initiatives that save time, water and effort in dishwashing. We are looking to partner with innovative technology companies who can help us address the water issues (access and scarcity) our consumers are facing.

Home cleaning made easy

We’re always looking reduce the burden of home cleaning for busy mums whilst creating a financial opportunity for others who would like to earn more money.

What are we looking for?

We are looking to partner with innovative technology companies who specialize in digitally based peer-to-peer service offerings – particularly in feature phone based markets such as Brazil. Ideally, you will have delivered successful market tests and be ready to scale.

Let kids be kids

Paddle Pop brand purpose is to ‘Let Kids be Kids’. We want to go beyond providing nutritionally responsible products to play a greater role in encouraging children to be more physically active in a fun and adventurous way.

What are we looking for?

We are looking to partner with companies who can provide the technology & innovative digital solutions that engage and inspire kids to be more active and to have imaginative play thanks to our brand.

Sustainability – project hand wash

The simple procedure of hand washing can eliminate 5000 diarrhoea-related deaths every day. We believe that technology can be an enabler to remind people to regularly wash their hands at public facilities in densely populated urban environments.

What are we looking for?

We are looking to partner with companies who can provide simple yet game changing digital technology solutions in this space. The ideal solution will be suitable for public restrooms in low-income areas and be low in cost.

Knorr: from farm to fork

Knorr has been working with farmers to source 100% of agricultural materials sustainably because we are passionate about flavour and believe it makes a big difference to the taste of our products, the future of our planet, and the wellbeing of thousands of farmers.

What are we looking for?

We are looking for partners that can help us to deliver immersive storytelling around our sustainable farming practices that inspire people, bridging the gap between farm and fork. We are looking for solutions that can more effectively engage shoppers and cooks by integrating these stories into their everyday planning, cooking and shopping behaviours.



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Jangro has launched a new corporate ID to celebrate its third decade as a leading innovator in the cleaning supplies industry. Now with £120 million turnover and 41 outlets, it claims to have more points of sale than any other janitorial supplies organisation in the UK and Ireland.

The new corporate ID is being launched onto Jangro members’ vehicles, literature, stationery and promotional materials. The first product group packaging to adopt the new colourful house style is the Jangro Professional range of products. This will soon feature on the Premium range, the Enviro range of products that have a minimal effect on the environment, and the Contract range of no-frills basic commercial products for everyday cleaning tasks.

The label is colour coded to each range for easy identification and has been updated with colourful, consumer style illustrations. QR codes have been added to labels enabling the user to access the relevant safety data sheet, risk assessment and product user guide.

Jangro director, Joanne Gilliard, said: “Our new corporate identity is colourful, easily brand identifiable and modern. It is more attractive than similar products and has its own look. It is already proving very popular with our customers.”

For our full range of Jangro Products please click here

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An online poll run by Jigsaw cleaning Solutions has revealed that the majority of respondents believe sustainable technology is the key to cleaner hospitals.

Industry news portal, cleanleanhealthcare.org, posed the question to readers: How important is sustainable technology which offers benefits such as water reduction?

Over three-quarters (78 per cent) of the respondents that took part in the poll voted sustainable technology as being ‘very important‘, with only nine per cent stating it as ‘not important‘. The remaining 13 per cent answered that they ‘don’t think it matters‘.

Brian Boll

Brian Boll, operations director at Jigsaw Cleaning Systems, said:

“New, sustainable technology really is the key to continuing to drive innovation in the healthcare cleaning sector.

“Hospitals are demanding better results and greener technology every year and it’s only through innovation that the industry can hope to keep up.

“The results speak for themselves. We are consistently told by customers that they are seeing better results hand-in-hand with benefits including water reduction.”

In order to critically review the management of norovirus outbreaks, Hygiena International ATP test systems (involving a hand-held SystemSURE luminometer and UltraSnap swabs) has been used to evaluate the effectiveness of cleaning procedures, following two norovirus outbreaks on a cruise ship.

Norovirus is the most prevalent cause of infectious gastroenteritis in the UK, and the ATP bioluminescence technique has been used for many years to identify potential sources of contamination in the food chain, in production and preparation areas as well as many other industrial and commercial applications such as restaurants and hotels. It has also been utilised more recently to monitor surface cleanliness, and used in conjunction with varying infection control measures to monitor many other areas of potential infection. These include confined environments as found in care homes and hospitals, where secondary or subsequent outbreaks often re-occur even after initial cleaning and sanitation procedures have been undertaken. Other potential areas of application include schools, or wherever food is prepared or consumed by the general public.

Any cleaning procedure is designed to remove residues of food and body fluids such that the subsequent application of disinfectants can function correctly and inactivate residual microbial contamination. Foods and body fluids contain large amounts of ATP such that residues of ATP remaining on surfaces after cleaning provide a direct, objective measure of the efficacy of the cleaning process and residual contamination risk.

The Hygiena UltraSnap swabs contain a reagent known as luciferase/luciferin in the bulb of the swab. Once the swab is snapped and the bulb squeezed, an oxidation reaction takes place with any ATP present, emitting light. The light produced is directly proportional to the amount of ATP in the area tested. This is a rapid method showing a strong correlation between ATP and microbial cells, with results measured in relative light units (RLU) that can be obtained within 15 seconds.


For products that kill 99.99% of bacteria and are ideal for hospitals and washrooms to combat against diseases view the range of Clover Chemicals here

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Leading scientists, toxicologists and dieticians debunk common chemical misconceptions

The helpful new guide, called Making Sense of Chemical Stories, has been released by Sense About Science, a charitable trust that equips people to make sense of scientific and medical claims in public discussion.

“People are still being misled by chemical myths” say Sense About Science, adding: “This needs to stop. We urge everyone to stop repeating misconceptions about chemicals. The presence of a chemical isn’t a reason for alarm. The effect of a chemical depends on the dose”.

To learn about cleaning safely and misconceptions around chemicals in cleaning products, visit the FAQ section of the UKCPI website here.

Sense About Science comment that chemicals are often represented as something that can be avoided, or eliminated using special socks, soaps or diets, and that causes only harm to health and damage to the environment.

This guide flags up the more serious misconceptions that exist around chemicals and suggests straightforward ways for people to evaluate them.

The reality boils down to six points:

  1. You can’t lead a chemical-free life.
  2. Natural isn’t always good for you and man-made chemicals are not inherently dangerous.
  3. Synthetic chemicals are not causing many cancers and other diseases.
  4. ‘Detox’ is a marketing myth.
  5. We need man-made chemicals.
  6. We are not just subjects in an unregulated, uncontrolled environment, there are checks in place.

Click here for more details about Sense About Science’s new guide Making Sense of Chemical Stories.

For all your cleaning chemicals and janitorial supplies, Mill Sales Direct can supply you with everything you need.

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Ella’s hand washing adventure app

Inspire and motivate with the new App – Ella’s Hand Washing Adventure!

It can be tricky to get your child to wash his or her hands properly. In order to motivate and inspire children to wash their hands we have developed Ella’s Hand Washing Adventure App. The app contributes to teach children how, when and why to wash their hands in a fun and pedagogical way.

Tork’s new app is developed both for iOS and Android tablets.

Go to App Store: Ella’s Hand Washing Adventure

Go to Google play: Ella’s hand Washing Adventure

The Importance of Hand Washing

Absenteeism and illness due to poor hand hygiene in kindergartens and schools is a real problem. It affects not only the teachers and children, but often also involves parents having to take extra time off from work. We know that teaching and monitoring hygiene is a major challenge for parents as well as educational institutions.

Hand Washing
Washing ones hands helps to prevent illnesses and the best defense.

There are three main types of transfer (bacteria and/or virus) that are desired to interrupt:

  • from the hands to — eyes, nose, mouth, and open sores;
  • to another person either via direct hand-to-hand contact or via indirect hand-to-object-to-hand contact;
  • from hands to food during food preparation.

Wipe away the germs
When cleaning their hands, many people get in the bad habit of a quick wash, then a quick shake to get the drips off, then go. If you can teach children from an early age to dry hands until they are completely free of moisture, then bad habits are less likely to develop.

Using Liquid or Foam soap and rinsing with water, removes a large fraction of most bacteria — especially when followed by thorough drying. Using soap and rinsing with water is also an effective method of reducing the number of viruses on the skin.

One advantage with disposable paper towels is that the bacterias get trapped in the towel. It is when bacteria are transferred to the body interior that illness can occur.

Tips and Tricks

 It’s not only important to know how to wash your hands, when to wash your hands is equally important.


Teachers should take special care to wash their hands:

  • When hands are visibly dirty
  • After visiting the toilet or helping a child with a toilet visit
  • After being outside
  • Before eating and handling food
  • When coming home
  • After blowing the nose or assisting a child
Children should be motivated to wash their hands:

  • When hands are visibly dirty
  • After visiting the toilet
  • After playing outside
  • Before eating snacks and meals
  • When coming home
  • After blowing the nose


We recommend that the handwash routine takes up to 20 seconds for a child. Just as long as it takes to sing Twinkle, twinkle little star.

The Hand washing steps

  1. Wet your hands with clean warm water
  2. Apply liquid or foam soap and rub your hands together vigorously and scrub all surfaces
  3. Rinse with clean water
  4. Dry hands until thoroughly dry with a paper towel

Did you know!
Most of us were taught to wash our hands by our parents. What they did not know was that good hand hygiene also relies on hand drying!



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SCA portable toilet paper dispenserAs SCA and its brands prepares to take part in the Volvo Ocean Race, the company has challenged industrial design students all over the world to develop a solution to keep toilet paper dry in very wet environments. As an initiative to find new insights, the company has run a global student competition to find a solution to protect toilet paper from seawater as Team SCA takes part in the toughest sailing competition in the world. Toilet paper and soap are basic products, but in certain environments they require special solutions and extra protection. 

The winning contribution, developed by five students at ENSAM University in Paris, is a waterproof dispenser with a choice of two different attachment solutions – a suction pad or a hook. The dispenser is made from a soft, lightweight and impact-resistant material that keeps the toilet paper free from humidity through the use of silica gel. The winning entry has been reviewed by the global SCA dispenser team and has been developed into a prototype that will be further evaluated.

“Thinking about the extreme environment on board – and aside from the challenge of developing an easy-to-use dispenser that is completely waterproof – we thought portability would be an important feature,” said Inés Ballano Vicente from the winning team. “That’s why we developed the two different attachment solutions.”

Åsa Kalentun, director European product management at SCA Hygiene Products, said: “Our innovations must solve real needs based on actual insights. How we get to that understanding is in fact less important. You could call our innovation process ‘vanity-free’. As long as we get the job done, the approach can vary. And why shouldn’t it? Our customers face a great variety of daily challenges and our innovation process must relate to that.”


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Food hygiene at Swindon’s Great Western Hospital has been given an “unacceptable” one-star rating.

The Food Standards Agency gave Carillion, the company contracted to provide the meals, low marks for the way it stored food and recorded temperatures at the hospital. The Department of Health said “urgent action” was needed. Carillion general manager Graeme McLelland said improvements had already been made.

A spokesman for the Department of Health said of the rating: “This is not acceptable – patients have the right to expect food that has been prepared safely, in a clean environment. “We expect the trust to work together with the local authority and take urgent action to address these serious failings in standards.”

‘Hoping for three stars’

Mr McLelland said: “To look at this in perspective, the environmental health officer didn’t highlight there were any concerns that were putting patients at any immediate risk. “Clearly there were some things we need to sort out. As part of our ongoing programme, over 100 members of staff went through retraining to ensure all of our people understand the importance of safety.” Julia Marshman, senior nurse for care quality and patient experience at the hospital, said: “We are not going to achieve five stars next time and I think it’s important for the public to understand that. “We are absolutely hoping for three stars.”  A statement from Great Western Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust said it had good quality, modern facilities which were designed to meet the very highest standards of food hygiene, and “we will not accept anything less”. The trust said it was working with Carillion and The Hospital Company (its private finance initiative provider) to ensure improvements were maintained.

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Kimberley Clark Aviation Industry

Kimberly-Clark Professional announced this week that its aviation industry cleaning products have been qualified and listed on Aerospace Material Specification AMS 3819C and Boeing Material Specification BMS 15-5G.

Specifically engineered to perform in all areas of original equipment manufacturing and maintenance repair operations, the full line of application-driven aviation wipes are designed to deliver superior cleaning, improved operational efficiency, reduced turn-around time and maximised productivity, while also meeting the precision standards and requirements of the aerospace industry.

Kimtech Wipes for Aviation are available in three categories: Surface Preparation Wipes; Cleaning Wipes, and a Wet Wipe System.

To complement these wipes, the company also launched the Kimtech Large Surface Wiping Applicator. This applicator – developed for the aerospace industry, helps workers address the difficulties of cleaning and preparing large, contoured areas and elevated assemblies. The use of the applicator has shown an increase in productivity up to 56%, eliminating over-processing, wasted time and wasted motion.

The Kimtech Large Surface Wiping Applicator uses aerospace wipes mounted on a flexible applicator head designed to hug contoured areas for more efficient cleaning. The ergonomically-designed handle provides better control during wiping tasks, while the adjustable pole extends and retracts so workers can wipe elevated and below-floor-level surfaces with ease. This design reduces the physical stress caused by awkward positions when hand wiping.

“We work with aerospace manufacturers worldwide to develop effective, task-specific product offerings,” said Marianne Santangelo, aerospace target market leader for Kimberly-Clark Professional. “Aviation industry workers must have the best wiping tools available to make sure every job is done right the first time.

“Our goal is to help manufacturers uncover hidden opportunities to improve safety and productivity to help solve the customers’ needs. We’ve seen workers in unnatural, unsafe positions trying to reach areas they need to prep. In addition, we’ve observed unsafe adaptation of tools, such as tying rags to mop heads, in order to prep hard to reach areas. We identify and address these types of challenges and innovate to solve our customers’ needs.”

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At the peak of the recession, firms throughout the UK and Europe looked at methods to cut prices. Even the British Government put in place austerity measures that meant each public convenience came under financial scrutiny, however Simon Biggs, Operational Director of Monthind Clean, asks what damage continues to be being done to companies up and down the country who aren’t taking sufficient care of their washrooms?

A study carried out by Katrin.com revealed that it’s not simply customers’ habits which are affected by the cleanliness and upkeep of public washrooms, however 82% of staff assume their wellbeing at work would improve with better facilities. It is to be expected that washrooms in eating places could have one of the largest impacts on client behaviour and opinion, and it’s worth noting that 72% of shoppers stated they wouldn’t return if the washroom is unpleasant, whereas 79% stated they might share this data with friends – a figure prone to improve with the upsurge in on-line and social media activity. So, why are firms taking the danger?

“People have robust opinions on the subject of washroom cleanliness, and it’s about more than simply clean toilets and hand basins,” mentioned Simon. Hand dryers, air fresheners, sanitary disposal bins and baby changing services are among the extras folks expect to see as a matter of course these days. The contract cleaning business is claimed to be valued greater than £10billion, and with the additional demands on everybody’s purse strings, corporations are all the time trying to lower prices.

“However, in the event that they fail to deliver even the fundamentals, the adverse effect it may have on business is not worth contemplating. If a store has dirty windows and patrons can’t see the products on show they aren’t prone to enter, not to mention buy, and the same may be stated for catering institutions. Consumers are very involved about hygiene, and one of many areas that is most blatant is in its customer conveniences. In contrast, outsourced cleaning costs very little in comparison with the long-term harm which poor amenities can do to the popularity of a business.”

Mill Sales Direct supplies  the most competitively priced janitorial supplies within the area, together with toilet paper, paper towels, hand cleaning products and dispensers. If you are looking to replenish your washroom and are looking for the most competitively priced products then please view the washroom range at the millsalesdirect website