Hand sanitizer is nothing but a substance consisting of alcohol whose primary purpose is to clean germs and prevent infections.
The correlation of alcohol with ESG aspects focuses more on environmental and social aspects. This is because the components of the sanitizer have an impact on the health of individuals and ecosystems in many ways. Further to our analysis, we will be running through all the key impacts and possible factors linked to hand sanitizer.
The primary purpose of hand sanitizer is to kill germs and prevent infectious diseases. Considering the key risks of sanitizer, one can see that it affects both the planet and health. In line with this, when we say health impacts, it brings to light many more negative aspects of sanitizers that are harmful. These include health impacts like overuse which may cause skin problems. The high percentage of alcohol in the sanitizer leads to serious health problems. In addition, when discussing the planetary effect of sanitizers, since plastic is an integral part of the product, it leads to an increase in plastic pollution in the ecosystem.
As a result of the pandemic, people are more aware and cautious about their health and the use of sanitizer has increased significantly. In addition to hand sanitizers providing a protective layer to the skin, they also cause adverse effects due to the chemicals and other ingredients that are in them. This includes causing dryness to the skin. By overusing hand sanitizers, the skin is also deprived of moisture, causing dryness, which in turn leads to increased exposure to germs. Additionally, the sanitizer also consists of an ingredient known as triclosan where the high exposure of this ingredient may disrupt hormone cycles and even impact fertility. The presence of alcohol in the sanitizer leads to further damage to the skin cells.
Additionally, hand sanitizer bottles are made of plastic, which is a source of pollution and negatively impacts the environment. Plastic is hazardous in nature when broken down and if not recycled properly hampers the environment negatively. In countries that are known as developed markets, if the waste is not managed properly and disposed of in an appropriate manner, it may negatively affect the air, water, and soil.
Plastic is one of the major polluters of the environment. As it is also a major part of the hand sanitization industry, the reduction of plastic usage is a key factor. In line with this, the most effective option which can be adopted is the usage of recyclable and reusable PET plastic. Using reusable bottles instead of single-use plastic for larger containers would be significantly eco-friendlier than using single-use plastic for daily or weekly doses. Refilling is an environmentally friendly option. Hence, people will only need to pay for the actual sanitizing gel and not the entire packaging. This will eliminate the plastic factor.
Plastic is a major threat to our ecosystem and has its own adverse effects on the environment. Companies are aware of the serious impacts of these products and are taking measures to minimize those impacts. This includes initiatives such as increasing transparency on the hand sanitization label and certifying their products as green. With this certification, the packaging company has implemented lightweight, recyclable refill containers that are expected to save hundreds of tons of plastic per year. As one such initiative, 100% naturally renewable ethanol is used as a chemical component within sanitizers in a readily biodegradable formula. Further, the adoption of the 3R approach (reduce, recycle, reuse) is also contributing to minimizing the increase in plastic waste.
Moreover, companies are also focused on designing the plastics in such a way that they can be recycled later, which will be of benefit to the environment. In addition, switching to alternative packaging materials such as paper, glass or aluminum is better for achieving the company's plastic reduction goals.
Speaking about hand sanitizer there are many benefits and challenges associated with sustainability. The main benefits of sustainable hand sanitizer are that they are better for health than traditional brands. One of the benefits is the inclusion of chemicals extracted from renewable sources. There can be some drawbacks to the hand sanitizer, such as the fact that using it for a long period will cause bacterial growth. The following are the benefits and challenges that a hand sanitizer would possess.
A compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6.8% is expected to be achieved between 2022 and 2030 for the global hand sanitizer market, estimated at USD 6.02 billion in 2021. Rising awareness about sanitation and personal hygiene will increase the demand for hand sanitizers. This is because it is an antiseptic solution, which is used as an alternative to soap and water. Furthermore, the research also highlights key aspects of the hand sanitizer market.
• Reckitt Benckiser Group plc
• Procter and Gamble
• The Himalaya Drug Company
• GOJO Industries, Inc.
• Henkel AG and Company
• Chattem, Inc.
• Best Sanitizers, Inc.
• Macro-economic and ESG-variable analysis of the industry, including regulatory, policy, and innovation landscape
• Key insights on infrastructure developments and ESG issues affecting the theme
• Identify key initiatives and challenges within the industry
• Identify ESG leaders within the industry
• Understand key initiatives and the impact of companies within the sector to fuel an informed decision-making process
• Analysis of industry activities based on multi-media sources, including significant controversies and market sentiment
• Developing a comprehensive understanding of macro-economic, Policies & Regulations and innovations affecting the market, globally
• Key insights into Infrastructure developments and ESG issues affecting the theme
• Identifying ESG risks and opportunities to business among leading players in the hand sanitizer industry
• Obtaining a clear and relevant understanding of company actions, progress, and impact and find opportunities for investment
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