Cromwell launch scented, antimicrobial tiger sack for clinical waste

Polythene, a specialist in sacks, bags and speciality products for the capture and containment of waste and recyclables is launching a scented and antimicrobial tiger stripe sack.

The new product is part of its Sansafe and clinical waste management range. The tiger stripe sack incorporates Biomaster silver antimicrobial technology, added during the film extrusion process. Silver ion-based antimicrobials inhibit the growth of harmful bacteria, including E. coli and Legionella. This saves time, money and resources, as the bacteria which causes unpleasant smells is unable to grow in contact with the liners. Pine Scentmaster fragrance also helps mask unpleasant odours, both inside and outside the liners, helping visitors to have a positive impression of facilities. These features eliminate the need to add separate antimicrobial products and intoxicating fragrances during waste collection and disposal.

The efficacy of each production run of Cromwell’s Sansafe liners is regularly tested to ISO22196. The 10kg medium duty tiger stripe sack holds the Cleaning and Hygiene Suppliers Association (CHSA) certification mark for plastic refuse sacks. This gives end users certainty that they meet quality assurance standards, are ‘fit for purpose’ and that they are getting what they paid for, including the minimum net weight and the number of sacks in the pack.

The bags are designed for the collection and disposal of offensive/hygiene waste collection, which can be disposed of through Energy from Waste (EFW), incineration or deep landfill. Typical examples of this type of waste include non-infectious used gloves, masks, dressings, incontinence waste, soiled nappies, and sanitary products. The sacks are packed in rolls, ideal for distribution and portion control. 500 pieces are contained by box, with a minimum guaranteed net box weight of 7.43kg.

James Lee, managing director of Cromwell Polythene, said: “We are constantly developing and introducing innovative products to our comprehensive range to aid the recycling process. We’re pleased to introduce this product into our clinical waste family, to help minimise infection risk, whilst ensuring facilities are cleaner, greener and more resource efficient.

“Details of our full, high quality portfolio are available on our recently redesigned website. We have also introduced separate product information sheets, available in bespoke packs depending upon the nature of individual customer enquiries. These are designed to make our response more tailored and more sustainable.”


Good luck to Cromwell for this neat idea. Regrettably, I’m not entirely convinced that silver ion additions will make any difference as their antimicrobial activity is wholly dependent on direct contact so the contents of the sack will be unchanged, microbial activity will be unchanged, and in all probability any smell will be unchanged too. That property is not reflected in thee test requirements of ISO22196*.

Silver ion additions may have some value in reducing the level of contaminants on the external surfaces of each sack. However, if that is a concern for user the real answer is to wear gloves and wash hands thoroughly after contact. It’s a bit like the need for antibacterial toilet paper, though a few products find their way to market now and again. Just learn to wash hands, and wash them well, with soap and water and everything will be fine.

All that said, it’s a nice idea from Cromwell and as far as I know a first of its kind.

Perhaps the answer lies on the supermarket shelves where several waste bin and food bin ‘sanitisers’ are available, generally in granular form. These have a potent odouriser so have much to offer. Additionally, they claim to reduce if not eliminate problems due to fliers and other insects attracted to smell, making it far more pleasant for households storing sanitary waste for a week or more.


*ISO22196 is summarised by ISO thus:

“ISO 22196:2011 specifies a method of evaluating the antibacterial activity of antibacterial-treated plastics, and other non-porous, surfaces of products (including intermediate products).

It is not intended to be used to evaluate the effects and propagation of bacteria on non-porous surfaces without antibacterial treatments. ISO 846 describes tests to evaluate the effects and propagation of bacteria on non-porous surfaces, which are different from those covered by ISO 22196.

Secondary effects of antibacterial treatments, such as the prevention of biodeterioration and odour, are not covered by the standard, which is not intended to be used or referenced as a method to document or claim biodegradability of, for instance, plastics materials.”

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