When Brian McCormack was using a home testing kit to screen for bowel cancer, he found the stool collection process to be awkward, inconvenient and wasteful. He felt there had to be a way to make sampling easier, especially when disposing of the collector. He thought to himself, “What if I could develop a stool collection system where I could take the sample and flush everything away?” And then he came to SmartSolve.
Six years ago, McCormack started experimenting with soluble materials in his kitchen in Scotland. After about a year spent perfecting his invention, he reached out to SmartSolve Industries and we were able to develop a flushable stool collector under his design patent.
McCormack shares, “They had the right material. We ran some tests and trials on it, and it was perfect.” The FlushAway Stool Collector is easy to use and ideal for both at-home and hospital use. This device significantly reduces cross-contamination risks that could cause infection, in addition to being environmentally-friendly and sewer-safe.
During the development process, McCormack started wondering what other environmentally-friendly products McCormack Innovation could create. “It was that light bulb moment. I looked at the environment and thought, what else could I develop here? And that’s when I looked at the biggest problem – wipes. Wipes are the other 70% of the fatberg that causes blockages in the sewer systems.”
Wet wipes are useful for many aspects of everyday life. However, they can only be used once and usually end up causing sewer blockages or in the landfill, taking about a hundred years to biodegrade due to the synthetic and plastic fibers they contain. Wet wipes flushed in toilets cause 93% of sewer blockages in the UK.
Brian McCormack was determined to find a better way and began working on his invention of a dissolvable wipe that actually breaks down. "After a lot of hard work, I discovered I could venture into making a truly flushable wipe - one that was wet, that could get the job needed done, and dissolve," he says.
People have a lot of questions about how these flushable wipes break down, to which McCormack has stated, “People ask, are there microplastics left? What’s left? Now, that’s quite commercially sensitive. But under the new standard the technical experts looked at, they had to make sure there are no microplastics left in our wipe. And the end result was the residue that was left from the McCormack wipe has no impact on the environment or marine life. That was big for us.”
FlushAway Soluble Wet Wipes dissolve in a few seconds, have OEKO-TEX Standard 100 certification and are currently approved for medical use and as a makeup remover wipe, with more plans slated for the future.
McCormack Innovation is leading the way in developing sustainable, water-soluble supplies for the medical industry and beyond, and we’re excited to see the products they’ll continue to develop. While their flushable wipes aren’t to market in the United States yet, SmartSolve is working to make that a reality.
Interested in learning more about flushable solutions for your product line? Explore our current offerings, or get in touch with the SmartSolve team to discuss new innovations for your company.