How a dish brush can make a difference

04 December 2019

Tiskiharja keittiössä

Sinituote uses Fortum Circo® recycled plastics in their range of bright, attractive and long-lived plastic products, such as SINI dish brush, SINI toilet brush and SINI lint roller.

Sinituote, a Finnish company producing cleaning equipment and household articles, has used Fortum Circo® - a recyclate made out of consumer plastic packaging waste – to create a range of bright, attractive and long-lived  plastic products which have played a huge role in encouraging Finnish households to recycle.

 

Can a brush made to wash dishes help to clean up the planet? The developers at Sinituote, an industry eco-pioneer producing plastic household cleaning equipment, certainly think so. And having been involved in the development of the product (and its many thoroughbred stablemates), we at Fortum are inclined to agree. 

It’s certainly making an impact. But then, it was always intended to. A successful Finnish family business for 30 years, with two factories in Finland, Sinituote has been run from the beginning as an ethical enterprise with green mindset in every aspect. Production of Sinituote is as energy efficient as it can safely be. In winter, the plant is heated with waste heat. Both factories are run with zero tolerance for waste – it gets collected and grouped in 17 categories, all of which are recycled. Not a scrap of the scrap goes to landfill. And in the past they’d dabbled with recycled raw materials, but found the quality unreliable.

However, with the arrival of a consistently high quality recycled material – Fortum Circo® – their drive has gone up several gears, and they’re now going to market with the clear purpose of creating a more sustainable consumption culture. They’re taking the battle to save the planet right to the front line –  in people’s homes.

CEO Johanna Hamro-Drotz says, “We’re actively targeting the products people use every day and we’re creating the most sustainable choices they can buy”.

Every product in her armoury is built to last 5, 10, 15 or 20 years. And then, at the end of its life, to be 100% recycled.  The parts most likely to wear out – brush heads and the like – are designed to be replaced repeatedly.

The Nordic region's leading developer, manufacturer and marketer of cleaning tools, Sinituote got their first consignment of Fortum Circo® just two years ago. Since then, they’ve been working hand in glove with the team at Fortum, testing different mixes, optimising production processes and developing a shiny new range of 100% recycled products that match their previous quality in every way.

They launched their first round of products in 2018, and Ms Hamro-Drotz has already been pleased to report a clear rise in sales. “There is a clear demand for eco products that don’t compromise on quality, usability or price, but it’s still been remarkable”, she enthuses, highlighting the holy trinity of green consumerables. This has been quite an accomplishment. 

The biggest challenge, they found, was achieving bright, trendy colours that would appeal to customers, but - by working with Fortum, and more than a little experimentation in their own testing labs - they’ve delivered a dazzlingly attractive range of hues that’s blowing consumers away.

SINI tiskiharja ja Circo

Of course, it was also hugely important that consumers were not faced with a steep rise in cost, as this would obviously dim people’s enthusiasm for recycling. Here again, Fortum Circo® did not let them down. While some parts of the production processes were slightly more complex, the consistent quality of the recyclate material and the fact that it arrives in a “ready-to-use” format, meant that overall costs came out at an acceptable level.

So Fortum Circo® has been a revelation. It’s helped them to clearly differentiate the business from those based on cheap disposable imports.

Consumers love the SINI products because they can buy the kind of products they would always buy, but still do their bit for the planet. Retailers love them because it boosts their image as an environmentally conscious organisation - SINI products are unmistakably packaged as eco-friendly; and obviously in minimal, 100% recyclable, mostly cardboard packaging.

Ms Hamro-Drotz is well aware that this goes far beyond making quality kitchenware. “We feel we’re playing a really important role in motivating eco-behaviour. 50% of homes in Finland recycle their plastic waste, and so if they ever wonder why they’re doing it, they’ll get encouragement when their yoghurt pot comes back as a scrubbing brush!”

 

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