In honour of the 48th Annual Earth Day, we want to explore 3 ways antimicrobial additives help with environmental conservation. Antimicrobials are occasionally looked at in a negative light. However, there are quite a few environmental and financial benefits to using antimicrobials in textiles, plastics and countless other materials, which we will look at below.
1. Longer Product Life
Antimicrobial additives help extend the life of textiles, plastics, foams and building materials. Not only will this save money for the consumer, it will also help lower the carbon and ecological footprint associated with consuming and creating products.
The longer lifespan of certain products can have extra benefits. For example, white vinyl roofing membranes, often used on large commercial buildings, can last up to 15 years longer when treated with an antimicrobial additive as compared to those that are untreated. In addition to extended longevity, a treated membrane will effectively retain its heat reflective properties since it is resistant to mold, mildew and algal growth, resulting in reduced energy consumption over the long-term.
2. Less Waste for Landfills
Landfills are an unfortunate necessity in our world and we are quickly running out of room for our waste. The environmental impact of landfills has been well documented, from air and water pollution to the effects on animals and their habitats.
Antimicrobial additives in things like flooring, textiles, and foam products help to prolong the life of the items. This results in less waste being diverted to landfills and can help to lessen the effects of landfills on the environment.
3. Lower Manufacturing Needs
There’s no doubt that we owe a lot to manufacturing. The assembly line not only created a massive job market but also lowered consumer costs and production time. However, the environmental impact from mass manufacturing is undeniably extensive. Manufacturing has long been a major cause of greenhouse emissions and air pollution, as well as water pollution and massive amounts of energy consumption.
Most manufacturers have embraced the green movement and are making changes to lower their carbon footprint. A lot of manufacturers have begun to use antimicrobial additives to help prolong the life of their products as well, which cuts down on manufacturing needs and related emissions.