For the last decade, South Africa has been on an educational journey, as the market began to embrace greener living, cleaner results and smarter practices. The planet is finite, and its resources are limited. In legal terms, there’s a saying that “ignorance of the law is no excuse” – the time has come where ignorance of our effect on the planet could be our own downfall. This is why the best time to be an #ecowarrior is now.

Many of the chemicals in traditional domestic and commercial cleaning products cause harm to the environment and the people exposed to them. These harmful chemical products contain surfactants that are not biodegradable, emit volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and endanger both human and environmental health.

In August, Green Worx Cleaning Solutions launched its online store, offering consumers the opportunity to purchase truly green, enzymatic cleaning products in a few easy steps. The manufacturer previously focused on the industrial market, but recognised the need for an effective, environmentally friendly solution backed by real accreditations and a decade of experience.

According to John J Coetzee, CEO at Green Worx, the company’s mission is to live the philosophy of “bio-excellence”, using innovation to provide solutions that will improve the quality, performance and safety of products, with a constant focus on its environmental impact and meeting consumer needs. “Our vision is to provide biotech solutions, finding better ways to get things clean. Our focus is our strength, striving daily to find the right balance between compassion and competitiveness.”

In their natural environment, bacteria produce hundreds of enzymes in response to the organics present in their environment. They produce extracellular enzymes that break down proteins, starches, fats, oils, greases, urine, esters and toilet tissue into smaller particles outside the bacterial cell. The bacteria then transport the smaller particles across their cell membrane for use as an energy source and for building of new cellular components. Since bacteria detect the organics present as potential food and produce specific enzymes to breakdown these organics, it is a very efficient system.

“Enzyme-based cleaners are especially useful for biofilm removal (this is a hood that bad bacteria hide under, which chemical cleaners can’t penetrate),” adds Coetzee. “Bacteria are somewhat difficult to remove with traditional alkaline or acid cleaners. Enzyme cleaners are more effective on biofilms since they work as proteases by breaking down proteins. After washing, the biodegradable surfactants and enzymes will break down and can safely be absorbed back into nature.”

Coetzee concludes with advice as to what truly green products should offer. The right enzymatic cleaners are non-toxic, non-irritating, non-gaseous, non-flammable, non-pathogenic and non-hazardous – in short, they’re tough on dirt, gentle on skin, and good for the environment. They must be eco-friendly, naturally derived, biodegradable and not tested on animals. Being highly effective, even in cold water, energy savings are possible, and with less (or no) rinsing required water is saved.

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