In addition to cleaning and anti-bacterial properties, strong environmental credentials of hand soaps are also seen to be increasingly influencing its usage and sales. Customers prefer products that are healthier and greener. The EU Ecolabel established in 1992 by the European Commission, helps consumers identify products and services that have a reduced environmental impact and that are of good quality. To qualify for the EU Ecolabel, products have to comply with a tough set of criteria. These environmental criteria, set by a panel of experts from a number of independent stakeholders, including consumer organisations and industry, take the whole product lifecycle into account – from the extraction of raw materials, to production, packaging and transport, right through to its use and then the recycling bin. In the USA, the Green Seal™ Environmental Standard is a certification for hand cleaners and hand soaps used for industrial and institutional purposes, based on their reduced human and aquatic toxicity and reduced smog production potential.
Ramada Downtown Dubai and Hawthorn Suites by Wyndham JBR use liquid hand soap that is tested and certified as per Organization for Economic and Cooperative Development (OECD) test guidelines that stipulate the most stringent definition of biodegradability, ready biodegradability. Ready biodegradability, also known as readily, is a material that will biodegrade rapidly in the environment and, when discharged as wastewater constituents, will be effectively broken down during wastewater treatment.
Liyakath Ali, Executive Housekeeper at Ramada Hotel & Suites, Ajman, considers foam soap as the environmental winner as it is biodegradable and the lather is created by the forced air rather than chemicals used in liquid soap. He says, “When we choose soap from our suppliers we ensure it is eco-friendly and the least energy is used to produce it, its lather is chemical free and less soap is used for a single hand wash.”