Space and planet-saving cleaning

Jon Lawson

Global water, energy and maintenance solutions provider NCH Europe has launched a tablet version of its popular Screen Clean screen wash. The tablet version is more compact than traditional liquid screen washes, requiring less packaging which in turn reduces its footprint and impact on the environment. NCH Europe has calculated that this could save the weight of nearly 1000 typical cars per year in saved plastic packaging.

The new tablet will particularly benefit companies that have fleets of vehicles such as cars, vans or heavy goods vehicles (HGVs). Independent garages and forecourts, as well as other retailers, can buy the tablet to re-sell to consumers directly from NCH Europe. It is also effective in other surface cleaning applications, such as solar panels.

Once dissolved the tablet produces up to five litres of screen wash. As a result, it is much more convenient to use because it's lighter and takes up less space when being transported.

Furthermore, the amount of packaging required is substantially less than would be needed for five litres of liquid screen wash. By using a single blister pack in place of a plastic bottle, NCH significantly reduces the product's environmental impact. This is particularly important as plastic can take centuries to degrade naturally.

The tablet also contributes to good car maintenance by achieving an excellent finish without the use of alcohol. As a result, it doesn’t degrade a vehicle's rubber wipers and seals over time and doesn’t produce the acrid scent that goes hand in hand with alcohol based screen washes.

According to the International Bottled Water Association, a single 500ml plastic bottle weights 12.7 grams, and NCH's own research suggest that a five litre bottle can weigh three to four times more. Compared to the weight of Screen Clean's blister pack, which is typically around 8 grams, this represents a saving per unit of 36.45 grams.

With 35 million licensed vehicles in the UK, switching from liquid to tablet format screen wash could save 1278 metric tons of plastic per year - about the same as nearly 1000 Ford Focus cars, presuming each vehicle owner buys only one five litre pack per annum.

It might seem that the most environmentally friendly option is to simply not use screen wash at all. However, in 2010 the European Journal of Epidemiology revealed that around one in five cases of Legionnaire's disease could be the result of drivers not using a solution with antibacterial properties, making that option impractical.

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