Today’s consumers are looking for safe, gentle and more natural oral products. But that’s not all. They are looking for professional quality to address their personal care needs effectively as well.
Dentisse was specifically formulated with this in mind. The brand’s Natural Solution is an alcohol-free mouth rinse that uses plant-based essential oils to attack odor-causing bacteria without the burning and drying sensation found in traditional alcohol mouthwashes. Natural Reflection toothpaste uses refined white clay, which is much gentler than the silica used in most toothpastes, but still very effective at stain removal. “It also has superior polishing properties and low abrasion,” according to Steve Wilson, director of sales and marketing for Dentisse.
Liberal usage of “organic” labeling hurts manufacturers that are working hard with time and resources to find formulation solutions. “It’s difficult to compete with unscrupulous manufacturers where the bottom dollar is all that matters,” says Wilson. But as consumers become more savvy to the differences between regulated organics and more openly defined naturals, they are paying more attention to product composition and are scrutinizing labels more closely.
One of the biggest challenges or opportunities for formulators is replacing safe synthetic ingredients with natural ones for the sake of a label or marketing claim. Often they do not have comparable physical attributes, efficacious results or long-term stability data. “Our goal is to develop oral care products as natural as possible, without sacrificing superior dental care properties,” says Wilson.
The demand for natural and sustainable products encourages brands to get creative and look at alternatives in the formulation and packaging science in personal care, in order to compete on a global scale. “It is up to us as manufactures to seek out and reward green suppliers that offer solutions to traditional synthetic ingredients,” says Wilson. “Many suppliers are recognizing this and have stepped up to be a part of the solution.”
Prevention. It is better to prevent waste than to treat or clean up waste after it has been created.
Atom Economy. Synthetic methods should be designed to maximize the incorporation of all materials used in the process into the final product.
Less Hazardous Chemical Syntheses. Wherever practicable, synthetic methods should be designed to use and generate substances that possess little or no toxicity to human health and the environment.
Designing Safer Chemicals. Chemical products should be designed to effect their desired function while minimizing their toxicity.
Safer Solvents and Auxiliaries. The use of auxiliary substances (e.g., solvents, separation agents, etc.) should be made unnecessary wherever possible and innocuous when used.
Design for Energy Efficiency. Energy requirements of chemical processes should be recognized for their environmental and economic impacts and should be minimized. If possible, synthetic methods should be conducted at ambient temperature and pressure.
Use of Renewable Feedstocks. A raw material or feedstock should be renewable rather than depleting whenever technically and economically practicable.
Reduce Derivatives. Unnecessary derivatization (use of blocking groups, protection/ deprotection, temporary modification of physical/chemical processes) should be minimized or avoided if possible, because such steps require additional reagents and can generate waste.
Catalysis. Catalytic reagents (as selective as possible) are superior to stoichiometric reagents.
Design for Degradation. Chemical products should be designed so that at the end of their function they break down into innocuous degradation products and do not persist in the environment.
Real-time Analysis for Pollution Prevention. Analytical methodologies need to be further developed to allow for real-time, in-process monitoring and control prior to the formation of hazardous substances.
Inherently Safer Chemistry for Accident Prevention. Substances and the form of a substance used in a chemical process should be chosen to minimize the potential for chemical accidents, including releases, explosions and fires.
By: Sara Mason
Posted: January 19, 2011, from the January 2011 issue of GCI Magazine.
The development of new products and processes with environmental friendliness in mind can spur more innovation and exciting offerings.
Taking initiatives to source more local or sustainable ingredients from unique providers can spur greener product development.
Green doesn’t just mean sustainable for the environment—there are also financial, cultural and ethical factors to continually consider.
Green certifications can help tell the story of eco-consciousness to a brand’s consumers, as well as display a competitive advantage.
Everyday, we are exposed to numerous chemicals, often without even knowing it. Good and bad, chemicals saturate the environment, and nearly everything has been touched by advanced chemistry in some way. Many of those advances were inconceivable just a few decades ago, and there is much to be thankful for. Now, there’s a new focus, taking innovation to a new level: going green.
Green chemistry seeks to reduce the use of energy and resources, reduce waste, eliminate costly treatments, produce safer products and improve competition in the marketplace. The philosophy is that it’s better to be proactive in the prevention of waste than to react after development. The principles and framework for this approach include using benign substances instead of toxic ones, using fewer materials and natural resources whenever possible, using renewable materials, designing for energy efficiency, and planning for end of product life by using recyclable or biodegradable materials.
Companies within the industry can tackle green initiatives in many different ways. “There is great effort in reducing the overall footprint of the company itself or in the products it is making,” says Marcie Natale, market development manager, Eastman Chemical Company. Green chemistry can provide one key to lowering environmental footprints while continuing to manufacturer products that consumers want at prices they are willing to pay.
According to Warner Babcock Institute for Green Technology, for a technology to be considered green chemistry, it must:
Be more environmentally benign than existing alternatives.
Be more economically viable than existing alternatives.
Be functionally equivalent to or outperform existing alternatives.