How Antimicrobial Technology is Keeping Shoppers Safe
The world has changed drastically in the last 14 months – gone are the last-minute holidays, large gatherings and mask-free shopping trips replaced by staycations, socially-distanced bubbles and, well, face masks.
Fortunately, many of these changes are only temporary (or, at least we hope) and the new ways of living that we have become accustomed to will be a distant memory in the coming months.
However, what long-lasting effects can we expect as a result of the pandemic?
One huge shift that we are noticing is the desire to find safe solutions to everyday activities that could leave people exposed to, or at risk of spreading, germs.
The public now have a heightened awareness of personal space, hygiene and how quickly and easily germs can spread. A recent survey by Citron Hygiene revealed that, on average, UK adults would wash their hands five times a day pre-pandemic, whereas now they are washing their hands 8 times a day.
Furthermore, 58% of shoppers have changed their habits because of how safe/unsafe they believe the shops to be.
This has led consumers, and corporations, to consider new ways to protect themselves and others from the potential spread of harmful bacteria and make themselves feel more at ease about returning to their normal lives'.
You may have noticed that many supermarkets now have antimicrobial handles on their shopping trolleys being that this is a major hot-spot for bacteria and has left many shoppers apprehensive about returning to in-store shopping.
This is a brilliant move on the retailer's behalf, but there is another area of vulnerability that lies in the hands of the shoppers – literally.
With the recently increased charge on plastic bags to 10p and the rising interest in eco-friendly alternatives, over two-thirds of UK consumers have invested in sustainable bags made from cotton, jute or some other eco-friendly material.
Reusable bags are great and their benefits are undeniable but they do have one downside. They require regular maintenance if you want to avoid a dirty, odorous breeding ground for harmful bacteria which means cleaning them after every use, especially if they are being used to carry loose fruit or vegetables, packaged meat or other perishable foods.
Though this is a small price to pay in return for protecting our planet and reducing plastic pollution, it can deter people from investing in reusable bags and, even more concerning, some of those that do use them aren't aware of the dangers or choose to ignore them.
Why it is important to regularly clean your reusable bags
Every year in the UK there are approximately 450,000 cases of food poisoning and the majority are caused by one type of bacteria known as Campylobacter. It is present in more than 70% of all fresh chicken sold in UK supermarkets.
The reality is that unwashed reusable bags that carry around fresh meat and produce are very likely fall into the 'heavily contaminated' category because they're housing harmful bacteria such as Campylobacter, E. coli and Salmonella.
When using a bag that hasn't been thoroughly cleaned between uses, you are at high risk of cross-contamination which puts your health in danger.
You wash your clothes, towels and bedding on a regular basis, so why would you neglect such a high touch-point item such as your shopping bag?
Cotton bags need to be thrown into the washing machine on a gentle cycle whilst jute bags and non-woven polypropylene bags must be hand-washed with cool water to prevent harmful bacteria from harbouring in and on them for weeks.
If this all sounds like too much hard work then there is now an alternative on the market – a reusable cotton bag that's made with antimicrobial technology.
What is antimicrobial technology?
An antimicrobial is an agent that works by creating an inhospitable environment for bacteria, mould and mildew which destroys or inhibits their growth.
This is not to be confused with antibacterial or disinfectants which provide protection for a limited amount of time. Antimicrobial technology continuously reduces the number of microbes on a treated product through its expected life-cycle.
The technology itself is not new. It can be found in flooring systems, medical products and cleaning substances around the world.
However, the way it functions, performs or lasts is not universal and new antimicrobial additives are always being formulated which brings us onto the trusted Biomaster additive found in our antimicrobial bags.
You can learn more about how it all works here
What are the benefits of antimicrobial bags?
Antimicrobial bags bring a whole new meaning to 'bag for life'.
The innovative technology will change the mindset of many shoppers, reduce the number food poisoning cases and open up a world of possibilities for the sustainable industry.
Our Antimicrobial Cotton Bags are made with an advanced Biomaster additive that is incorporated into the fabric of the product. This technology inhibits the growth of microbes by up to 99.9% and lasts for the useful lifetime of the bag.
Not only does this mean that your reusable cotton bag is safer, but it's also cleaner, fresher and more durable for longer.
This doesn't mean that you can't, or shouldn't, clean your Antimicrobial Cotton Bag. It can be washed up to 50 times without affecting its efficacy and we'd advise that you give it a thorough clean on a regular basis – you just don't need to do it after every use.
This exciting new product is a real game-changer and we are thrilled to be the first company in the world to bring the Biomaster Antimicrobial Bag to the UK market.
Shop our range of Antimicrobial Bags here