Superfried – Walk the Talk
Testing anti-bacterial spray by Ocean Saver
Hello, Mark again, continuing my path towards eco living. After reviewing the surface spray by smol, I was now wondering whether there was an alternative that would also kill bacteria – using one spray rather than two would be more efficient. Whilst at my local eco shop, Fantastic – No Plastic, I noticed a potential solution – Ocean Saver EcoDrops.
Essentially Ocean Saver produces plastic free homecare products. It suggests we can learn about their story on their about page, but unfortunately, all it says is that it was created from a deep love of the ocean and concern over single use plastic. This is commendable, but I would love to have learned more about the origins and founders of the company.
What are EcoDrops?
This eco friendly product is sold in a small cardboard box. I am not sure if it is made from recycled board, but it is reassuring to see a product reduced to such a small, light-weight scale. Inside the packaging, you find the soluble losenge-shaped EcoDrop capsule – similar to those used for laundry. My immediate concern was the plastic film containing the liquid. But on the Ocean Saver site they state –
EcoDrops are made from a water soluble & 100% biodegradable film (PVOH) and completely dissolves into water without generating any Micro or Nano plastics. And because we're not shipping water round the country, sending just one truck of OceanSaver to a supermarket is the equivalent of 12 trucks of a leading competitor brand.
This was great to hear as anything that looks like plastic always raises the alarm bells. Unfortunately, Ocean Saver admit that the EcoDrops are currently made in China in a BRC (British Retail Consortium) accredited factory as this has been the only way they could bring truly plastic free innovation to market quickly. However, they state they are actively looking to move production to the UK or EU by 2022.
It is now the end of 2023, so I will research to see if there has been any progress on this pledge. They also state that their plastic forever bottles and triggers are manufactured in the UK.
Wrapped around the capsule were two large stickers. It appears these are to be placed upon the bottle you use for the liquid. My first thought was are they necessary? Is this a legal, safety requirement to avoid accidental ingestion of the liquid? As suspected, this is the case –
We have to legally provide stickers with each pack because when you dilute your EcoDrop with water, it changes the ingredient concentrations, and this information is required by medical professions if for example you were to ever get the product in your eyes, or have any adverse reaction. Please don’t forget to apply these stickers to your bottle everytime you refill and reuse.
But this had me asking is there not a more eco-friendly solution available? For example, could they not enclose a recycled card label that could be hung around the neck of the bottle via an elasticated cord?
I am glad to report that once again Ocean Saver proceeded to answer this in great detail –
Our stickers are 100% plastic free! They are made from paper with a wax coating made from silicone oil which is fully biodegradable. They are suitable for both, home compost and industrial composting, however, it is better to put them in the recycle bin. Recycling keeps the wood pulp which has produced the paper in the circular economy for paper recycling as opposed to removing it altogether which then requires further deforestation to replace the wood pulp source.
Once again, this was good news and impressive attention to detail. And that is all there is to it really. So it was time to start dissolving.
Like smol’s efficient tablet solution – see smol Part 3 linked below – this eco friendly product simply requires dissolving the capsule in warm water. Once fully dissolved, the result is a pink solution that now smells fresh and fruity. According to Ocean Saver, it should kill 99.9% of all bacteria and Coronavirus. This is great, but how are they achieving this? Does this require the use of harmful chemicals?
Unlike smol, I could not find an actual list of ingredients, but in answer to the question 'Do your EcoDrops contain toxic chemicals?' in the FAQs they go on to state –
No! Our EcoDrops are non-toxic, plant-based, plastic-free, vegan and cruelty free :)
Although this is positive, I do think they should back this up with a full list of ingredients to reassure customers. Unlike smol, at present they have not secured a cruelty free accreditation, but state they are in the process of obtaining both a cruelty free and vegan certifications.
Generally, the solution smells good and seems to work well. Obviously, I can not test how effective it is at killing bacteria – for that I will need to take their word for it. But for cleaning it has been performing well and I have no complaints so far.
What about cost?
Ocean Saver from the eco shop costs £1.80 for 500ml – £0.36 per 100ml. But there is a cheaper option. Via the Ocean Saver site, it is possible to set up a subscription. You can specify the frequency and each delivery will include 6 refills. To tailor your order it is possible to mix n match between the 6 different surface sprays within their range. With a subscription, the price drops down to £8.99 for 6. Assuming that you select only the anti-bac or disinfectant spray (I do not understand the difference?) this works out as £0.30 per 100ml.
In Aldi, an anti-bac spray costs £0.11 per 100ml. Moving onto a fairer comparison with a leading brand, Dettol costs £0.33 per 100ml from Asda. With this in mind, Ocean Saver performs surprisingly well and is a serious contender.
I have to admit I was not expecting much from this product, but I have been pleasantly surprised. Although I would like to see some accreditations and lists of ingredients – so I will be researching in more depth. Just a quick look at Sophies's site Sustainably Lazy for laundry detergent it would seem she has placed Ocean Saver in the same bracket as smol – good on packaging and animal cruelty, but still use harmful chemicals. At this stage, if they are slack on their other products, I assume they also use harmful ingredients in the EcoDrops since they have not provided evidence to the contrary.
From the perspective of performance and cost I am genuinely impressed. Since they also offer a subscription system, it has now got me considering if their offering could be superior to smol. I was thinking of subscribing to the anti-bacterial EcoDrops, until I tried to do so only to discover delivery is only free if you spend over £15 per order. Since 6 EcoDrops costs £8.99, after including the delivery charge of £1.99 each item now costs £1.83 which is more expensive than buying them from the eco shop around the corner! This has put a slight tarnish on my initial positive view of the product.
I will still continue to use EcoDrops in favour of the surface spray by smol, but I will continue with smol's dishwasher tablets and laundry capsules until I find a superior, practical replacement. I am aware both Ocean Saver and smol do not tick all of the boxes. So my next step will be to focus on superior alternatives that fully tackle the use of chemicals.
As I progress on my path towards eco living I am constantly seeking new eco friendly products and knowledge, so if I have missed something or made a mistake, please drop me a message. I am also on a similar mission with my business Superfried, so if you are looking for bespoke brand strategy or design solutions to propel your organisation towards a more sustainable future – book a call.