I’m excited to share with you my latest zero waste find – the Australian owned and operated PATCH Adhesive Strips, made by James Dutton, the founder of Nutricare, after noticing that his boy’s skin reacted badly to common adhesive plasters.
I found these bandages when wandering through a store the other day and after reading the packaging, I didn’t know if I should believe what I read – it all sounded too good to be true! I have found other products that sound great, but when I start asking questions of the company I discover issues. So, I put the bandages back on the shelf and went home to do more research.
I really wanted these bandages to be the real deal, because the options I have blogged about in my past post, Zero Waste Band-Aids, haven’t always been adequate, especially for the kids (they hate the kombucha SCOBYs!). A normal band-aid, made to be zero waste would be perfect.
Many of my questions were answered on the PATCH website but for others I contacted James and the team to get the answers.
What did I learn?
Is the bandage compostable?
Yes. The bandage is made from 100% certified bamboo fibre which will break down and compost.
Is the gauze compostable?
Yes. The Natural PATCH gauze is made from 100% organic bamboo fibre:
- The Coconut Oil PATCH gauze, is made from only coconut oil on 100% organic bamboo fibre
- The Aloe Vera PATCH gauze is made from only Aloe Vera and 100% organic bamboo fibre
- The Activated Charcoal PATCH is made of only activated charcoal powder, a perforated biodegradable cellulose layer (to hold the charcoal in place) and 100% organic bamboo fibre
Is the adhesive compostable?
Yes. PATCH has been engineered with only 100% biodegradable and hypoallergenic ‘pressure sensitive adhesive’ ingredients. These ingredients are from nature and are suitable for the most sensitive skin types, but also great on regular skin types too.
Is the back paper compostable?
Yes. The back paper is paper which will break down.
Is the colouring compostable?
Yes. The colouring on all items is natural.
Is the tube compostable?
Yes. The tube is made from recycled cardboard and can be composted, but it could easily be reused or recycled rather than composted.
What about the outer cover of the bandages – it looks like plastic?
The outer cover of the bandages is currently supplied as biodegradable plastic, the thinnest possible.
It is used as a protective sterilisation layer for the strips, however, very pleasingly, this is being replaced to be completely compostable for the next lot of production.
It is not currently compostable, but the full strips will break down in a matter of weeks as they are made from 100% bamboo fibre which is a compostable material (may vary due to the soil, weather conditions, and harvesting). Check out the time lapse video below showing how PATCH bandages break down compared to a plastic bandage and other fabric bandage.
Something is biodegradable when living things, like fungi or bacteria, can break it down. It can take any time between months and several years to break down depending on the conditions it is exposed to. For plastic to be labelled compostable, 90% of it must biodegrade within 180 days of being in compost, it must be made up of at least 50% of organic materials and it mustn’t leave behind toxic residue once it has broken down (Source: 1 Million Women).
Okay, I’m convinced about the compostability, now tell me how your bamboo fabric is made?
We use a Lyocell production process, that is considered to be the most environmentally friendly method of manufacturing bamboo cloth fibre. This is because it is more sustainable than most common chemical processing methods. According to the FTC, Lyocell is defined as a cellulose fabric made by an organic solvent spinning process.
The chemicals used in this processing method are non-toxic and much safer for humans than other commercial processing chemicals. About 99.5% of the chemicals used are captured in a close-loop container, which means they can then be recycled with minimal amounts of them being released into the environment, avoiding air and water pollution.
And, are PATCH strips vegan?
Yes. PATCH strips are 100% vegan, they are without any animal derivatives and PATCH is not tested on animals.
But, do they work?
Yes. I went back to the store and bought the Natural and the Aloe Vera PATCH strips to put in our first aid kit. The bandages stick really well and I have no issues with the quality of the product.
Where can I get them from?
There are online stores selling PATCH or you can buy direct from their website.
If you want to stock PATCH in your store and help make innovations like this a success, contact James at HELLO@NUTRICARE.CO.