How a Kirkcaldy inventor’s soluble wet wipes could help save the planet

A Kirkcaldy inventor has officially become the first to launch environmentally-friendly wet wipes which can be flushed down the toilet.

Monday, 10th February 2020, 11:07 am
Updated Monday, 10th February 2020, 4:00 pm
Brian McCormack of McCormack Innovation
Brian McCormack of McCormack Innovation

Brian McCormack’s soluable wipes will dissolve in seconds when immersed in water, and are the first to be awarded the Fine to Flush accreditation by Water UK.

Fine to Flush is the new official standard identifying which wet wipes can be flushed down toilets safely.

Normally made from plastic fibes, wet wipes are the principal cause of 50-70% of blockages in UK sewers, with around 300,000 incidents each year, costing the country in excess of £100m.

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The largest ‘Fatberg’ (solid masses of fat, wet wipes and grease) found in the UK to date was an 820ft (250m) fatberg weighing 130 tonnes which blocked a Victorian-era sewer in east London in 2017 and took nine weeks to remove

Brian’s firm, McCormack Innovation, say this is a pivotal milestone in the company’s development – giving it the industry recognition on which to take the wipes out to a global audience.

Brian said: “This technology represents a game-changer for the world-wide market in disposable wipes.

“Citizens and industry alike are no longer willing to accept the catastrophic impact that conventional wet wipes are doing to the environment.

“I am delighted to announce that our wipes have been awarded this vital accreditation. Whilst Fine to Flush is a UK standard, it is highly regarded throughout the world and is seen as a standard by which other countries can follow suit in raising the bar in the disposal of wet wipes in the water sewerage system.

“No thermoplastics were detected during the test process for our wipes.”

“A leading international healthcare company has carried out successful biomedical tests on the wipe and are going ahead with patient trials and are very confident of the outcome.”

David Torrance, Kirkcaldy MSP, said: “It is great to see environmental innovation like this being developed in Scotland which can have a global impact.

“It has fantastic potential. I have supported Brian’s work over a number of years and I am delighted to see his hard work and tenacity paying off.

“I have been very impressed by demonstrations I have seen. It will have a range of uses in the medical world as well as in the home. Success stories like Brian’s should be an inspiration for the local area.”

Brian added that the company has added additional aid following an order from war-torn Yemen.

“McCormack Innovation was approached by a medical distribution company in the war-torn Yemen, they did a trial on a dissolving product we have they then ordered 10,000 of these medical organisation dressings.

“They told me most will be used to attach feeding tubes etc, to malnourished children. They could see there is no trauma in the removal of this tape – just wet it with a sponge it will dissolve.

“We also sent out 1,100 dressings free of charge. We are humbled to be able to help in this humanitarian crisis.”

The company says there has been strong commercial interest in the product from across industries.

The business has been supported by Business Gateway, Scottish Enterprise, Scottish Development International and Zero Waste Scotland.

The wipes will be manufactured by strategic partner, Guardpack, the UK’s most established contract manufacturer of individual wet wipe sachets, producing more bespoke & personalised wet wipes sachets than any other company since 1995.

McCormack Innovation will proudly demonstrate its ground-breaking technology at the prestigious Hunter Foundation Charity Dinner on February 18 in Edinburgh where renowned broadcaster and natural historian Sir David Attenborough is guest speaker.

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