With innovation at the core of founders Phil Scardigno and Corey White’s approach, they saw the volume of plastic waste in each of their respective manufacturing and importing businesses and knew something needed to change.
More plastic = more waste
Right now, volumes of plastics continue to grow in our global economy. The growth in single-use plastics made from virgin polymers was 15 times that from recycled feedstocks, with a whopping six million extra tonnes of plastic produced in the last two years (Minderoo Foundation 2023). Layer this with the recent pause on soft plastics recycling, which is, unfortunately, a significant hit to Australia’s positive recycling behaviour change.
What about plastic free?
With a mission to drive the advent of plastic-free compostable wipes, The Hygiene Co. brands can kickstart a fundamental change in consumer and business approaches to plastic. We should all question what a product is made of and determine if there is a better option that does not add to the plastic problem.
It is easy to agree with Dr Andrew Forrest AO, Chairman of the Minderoo Foundation when he says that we need a ‘polymer premium’ on every kilogram of plastic polymer made from fossil fuel and need financial incentives that encourage re-use and recycling and the build of new, critical infrastructure.
Are wet wipes made of plastic?
It is true. Almost all of the wet wipes currently available on Australian shelves are made of plastic.
Using public market data alone, Phil and Corey conservatively estimate Australia’s wet wipe waste problem to be 30 times bigger than the plastic straw issue: 25m kgs of plastic wet wipe waste going to landfill every year. This significant waste issue does not make the list of single-use plastics earmarked for elimination. Yet.
With a dedicated YouTube channel as the backbone of their campaign to eliminate plastic wet wipes from Australia’s landfill, Phil and Corey see themselves as more than just entrepreneurs. They want to make a change. They want to give Australians a plastic-free choice that is better for their homes and workplaces.
With a growing team at their metropolitan Adelaide manufacturing site, Phil and Corey are passionate about building this local capability to produce plastic-free wet wipes for home, personal and commercial use.
During the pandemic, complicated international supply chains saw significant disruption. By bringing manufacturing back to Australia, The Hygiene Co. can provide their plastic-free products with the certainty and security of quality Australian conditions. Medical-level quality processes give confidence to consumers of the brands.
Science at the heart of it all
The Hygiene Co. invests in a truly Australian approach to its new product development. This includes establishing its own NATA-approved R&D laboratory, headed up by a technical lead with more than 30 years in pharmaceutical formulation, new product development, and FDA and TGA approval and compliance. The R&D laboratory tests the product features for quality, durability and suitability to each customer’s needs.
Phil and Corey’s entrepreneurial journey includes experimenting with Australian native scents to infuse their natural products. These have been sourced from pristine Australian locations like Kangaroo Island and Byron Bay and have proven popular with buyers, retailers, and consumers.