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Success Stories

“Fine to Flush” Success Story: FlushAway’s Innovative Dissolvable Wipes and Stool Collector

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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.

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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.”

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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.

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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.


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Harry’s Re-Imagines Razor Packaging With Water-Soluble Pouches

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In 2020, more than 158 million people in the U.S. used disposable razors, and that number continues growing each year. Because razors are sharp and made of mixed materials, they (and the plastic packaging they typically come in) are not recyclable and end up in landfills.

Harry’s was created to be different from other shaving companies, and in their Miami for Design Week showcase, they demonstrated how packaging can be another standout feature of their personal care products.

Harry's SmartSolve Dissolvable Razor Pouch

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Popular shaving brand Harry’s made a splash on Instagram with a post featuring their “magically appearing” razor. The video shows their product pouch being held under the faucet and dissolving to reveal a new razor concept made from 100% recycled material.

Harry’s worked with SmartSolve to create their branded water-soluble pouch for this project. Their goal was to bring science and design together to make a zero-waste package for their permanent razor handle.

Frank Zaremba, Designer at Harry’s, shared, “The event went great and people really loved the experience of running the packaging under the faucet! It was one of our biggest hits for Harry's on Instagram ever.”

While this product is not currently available for purchase, consumers are abuzz about this razor that is not only made from 100% recycled materials, but can also be recycled again after use. There’s also a lot of chatter about the dissolvable packaging it comes in.

Harry's SmartSolve Dissolving Pouch Under Water Reveals Razor

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SmartSolve’s water-soluble pouches, also known as dissolvable pouches or sachets, are made of bio-based wood pulp fibers that disperse completely in water with no adhesive residue. The pouch shape is retained by a heat-seal coating, and once it comes in contact with water, the dispersion process begins. The adhesive completely dissolves while the wood pulp fibers begin to separate and return to their original bio-based state.

The 3X15 pouch material from SmartSolve has passed the GD4 flushability tests used to certify toilet paper and wipes, meaning the material is safe to go down the drain. The dissolved pouch material is also safe for the environment and fish, meeting marine biodegradation standards and the EPA’s Ecological Risk Assessment.

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The personal care and beauty industry produces more than 120 billion units of packaging worldwide every year – most of which is not recyclable. Cardboard takes about 2 months to decompose in landfills, while plastic can take up to 1,000 years, with some types never decomposing. SmartSolve’s dissolvable packaging gives brands the potential for zero-waste practices and provide an eco-friendly alternative to single-use plastics.

Beyond environmental considerations, water-soluble pouches provide unique branding capabilities. When brands leverage SmartSolve’s water-soluble technology and share their products on social media platforms, they’ve seen a major boost in engagement. In addition to Harry’s, female personal care brand Daye has seen massive success on social media from campaigns featuring SmartSolve’s flushable, “disappearing” pouches, exposing a global audience of eco-conscious consumers to their products.

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According to Flexible Packaging, “One sustainable packing trend to watch out for in 2022 is the use of lesser materials. Businesses are steering away from using excessive materials in their packaging and only using materials that actually serve a purpose.”

Harry’s dissolving razor packaging is just one of many applications for SmartSolve’s water-soluble materials. Get in touch with our team or request a sample to see what our pouch solutions can do for your brand.

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Andy Katz-Mayfield and Jeff Raider founded Harry’s in 2012 because they were tired of overpaying for over-designed razors. They wanted simple, high-quality products at a fair price and decided to do something about it. Harry’s flagship product is razors with blade refills that come in a recyclable box.

Harry’s launched its subscription service in 2013 and has grown to offer shave, body, face and hair products for men. As part of their mission to stand out from other men’s brands, they donate 1% of sales to charitable organizations promoting better mental health care for men. Follow Harry’s on Instagram for updates on how they’re re-imagining razors and other everyday household items.

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When one of our personal products customers approached us with a unique application—a water soluble pouch for a body wash product—they sought proof of flushability to ensure that the entire solution was safe for the environment, packaging included.

Since our world’s wastewater systems unfortunately are filled with items that shouldn’t be flushed down the toilet, but are, such as sanitary napkins and non-flushable wipes, this personal product firm wanted to guarantee that all aspects of their product offering would be zero waste. 

That’s when they turned to us.

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We worked with SGS-ISP Testing, an international testing lab that offers flushability testing per the Fourth Edition of the Guidelines for Assessing the Flushability of Disposable Nonwoven Products (GD4) from the Association of the Nonwovens Fabrics Industry (INDA) and the European Disposables and Nonwovens Association (EDANA).

SGS-ISP Testing ran five tests with our 3x15 heat seal printed pouches including:

  1. FG501: Toilet and Drainline Clearance Test, which evaluates whether or not a nonwoven product can safely clear toilet and building drainage lines.

  2. FG502: Slosh Box Disintegration Test, which tests if a nonwoven product disintegrates when exposed to mechanic agitation in water.

  3. FG503: Household Pump Test, which assesses if nonwoven products are compatible with household sewage ejector pump systems.

  4. FG504: Setting Test, which measures if nonwoven products can settle in septic tanks, sumps, setting chambers, and on-site aerobic systems.

  5. FG507: Municipal Pump Test, which tests if nonwoven products are compatible with municipal sewage pumping systems.

Because these flushability standards don’t normally apply to paper, we ran a modified version of this testing method and only tested five out of seven standard properties because the other two did not apply to our material.

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In the end, SGS-ISP Testing found that our water soluble printed pouches passed the five GD4 flushability tests, thus proving safe to flush down the drain.

Note: SmartSolve’s materials cannot be certified for flushability according to these standards since they only apply to wipes and paper towels, two kinds of products we don’t offer. However, since our pouches passed the GD4 tests, our pouches can be flushed without any negative environmental impact.

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Once our pouches passed these tests, our customer began using them with their liquid bath product, which is vegan, cruelty-free, and free of sulfates, fillers, phthalates, and parabens.

After consumers open a water soluble pouch while using it in the bath or shower, the pouch begins to dissolve when exposed to water in 40 seconds or less, then washes down the drain.

As a result, our customer can meet their goals of having 100% dissolvable packaging without the use of non-biodegradable or polluting packaging.

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Interested in trying out our water soluble pouches for yourself? Request samples today . Or do you have another packaging application that you’d like to discuss? Contact us to get the conversation started.

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The average American woman will use between 5-15 thousand tampons and pads throughout her lifetime—most of which will end up in landfills. Considering the fact that plastic can take up to 1,000 years to decompose in a landfill, the amount of menstrual waste generated every year has become a cause for concern.

Daye, a female health research and development company based in the UK, is hoping to change that.

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Founded in 2017 by CEO Valentina Milanova, Daye focuses on creating sustainable products and services that bridge the gender gap via science and innovation. Their flagship product is the world’s first—and only—pain-relieving tampon.

Sanitized for safety and coated with CBD, Daye’s tampons not only help relieve the burden of period pain (which 80% of women experience), but also are good for the environment.

All of their tampons are 100% free of dioxin, plastic, rayon, chlorine bleach, phthalates and fragrances and are made of 100% organic cotton that’s both biodegradable and compostable. And what’s more, their sustainable packaging reduces the burden of menstrual waste—thanks to SmartSolve Industries.

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When developing their first tampon product, Milanova and her team wanted to find a packaging option that was better for the planet. They started by working with a company that produced compostable wrappers.

While the wrappers were sustainable, they soon ran into a major problem. 

“We found out that most of our customers wouldn’t be able to compost the wrappers at home because it’s not what real customer behavior is like,” Milanova explained. “Most people would throw their wrappers in the trash.”

As a result, Milanova and her team decided to change tactics and find another packaging option that wouldn’t require so drastic a change in how most consumers dispose of their tampon wrappers.

Enter SmartSolve.

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Milanova explained that she and her colleagues were impressed by the investment that had gone into developing their water soluble material, as well as SmartSolve’s ability to answer the extensive questions they had.

“We moved to the SmartSolve wrapper because it fits more neatly with customer behavior,” Milanova said. “The water-soluble option is so great. Since people aren’t recycling or composting their wrappers, we found another natural way to dispose of them with SmartSolve.”

Daye is leveraging the SmartSolve 3x15 Heat Seal material for the tampon wrapper. The wrapper disperses when it comes into contact with water, allowing it to be easily flushed. Also, it has been classified as readily biodegradable—the highest level of biodegradation—per the OECD-301B test method, which means that it will quickly break down when submerged in an environment like a sewage system. Finally, the material has also proven ideal from a branding perspective since Daye can print their logo on it.

“The feedback has been incredibly positive: Everyone was really excited to have a flushable wrapper,” she continued. “In fact, one of our best-performing pieces of content has to deal with the water soluble wrapper our tampon uses.” The video above has been viewed over 6,700 times.

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Since launching their original CBD tampons, Daye has continued to expand and refine their product offerings.

You can now buy CBD-free tampons called Naked tampons, which are the most absorbent organic tampons in the market. Plus, their vegan-friendly, allergen-free ProViotics help with vaginal health by offering protection from infections. CBD is no longer just limited to tampons, either—Daye also sells CDB Balm, which can help with pain relief.

More products are in the works.

“We’re currently working on developing menstrual hygiene pads and would like to wrap them in the SmartSolve water soluble wrapper as well,” Milanova said.

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This is just one of many applications for SmartSolve’s water soluble materials. To try out one of our products for yourself, request a sample today.

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As major brands across the globe grapple with how to handle both growing need and growing consumer demand for environmentally conscious packaging, there are those that break through and set the stage for others to follow. Saie is one of those brands.

Saie is a health and beauty brand founded by Laney Crowell, who had a vision for a cosmetic brand that was both clean (without any toxic ingredients) and fashionable. “I started experimenting with nutrition, then meditation, and eventually beauty. If I was so conscious about what I put in my body, shouldn’t I be just as sure of what I was putting on my body?” said Crowell, speaking about how Saie was founded.

Saie Brings Environmental Consciousness to Health and Beauty Market

The brand didn’t just stop at clean ingredients. As they said on their website, “What are clean, sustainable formulas and recyclable components if they’re packaged and shipped in materials that aren’t mindful of our planet? We put a lot of thought into ensuring our products are clean and sustainable for our bodies and the environment, and our standards for packaging are no different.”

At the start of 2021, Saie announced they are officially Climate Neutral Certified, taking great effort to measure their carbon footprint. Additionally, the brand has committed to a number of environmentally friendly packaging initiatives, including using cartons made from 100% recycled FSC-certified paper made in a carbon-neutral facility, using cotton balls as padding instead of peanuts, water-activated kraft paper tape to secure products in transit and last but not least…using SmartSolve water-soluble corrugate boxes for their kraft mailers.

SmartSolve Takes Saie Beyond Recycling

SmartSolve worked with Saie to deliver on their commitment for a cleaner, more sustainable packaging approach. Taking steps to understand their unique application and brand, the SmartSolve team recommended water-soluble shipping boxes that Go Beyond Recycling. “The SmartSolve water-soluble boxes were used to launch our new Sun Melt Bronzer and were sent to over 400 top Instagram influencers. It was a really big hit. We had a lot of responses on social about the box and asking what it was made of.” said Michael Irwin, Product Development at Saie.

SmartSolve board stock is an engineered composite, yet it has a 100% organic construction. The magic happens once the SmartSolve material comes into contact with water. The individual fibers have an interlocking mechanism that can only be ‘unlocked’ with water. Once exposed to water, the locks dissolve, allowing the fibers to disperse. In an environment with water, the fibers will release and decompose naturally. Absent water, SmartSolve board stock will naturally biodegrade.

100% Organic, Water-Soluble, and Compostable Materials

In the case of the Saie box, made by SmartSolve, it is 100% organic and will completely compost (ASTM D6868) in 40 days. You can even throw it in your backyard compost pile if you want! There are no “hidden” or unknown substances that can sometimes be present in materials with “recycled content” as part of their makeup.

In a world where container and packaging waste generation continues to grow year over year (at the tune of 82.2 million tons in 2018 in the US alone), SmartSolve is thrilled to see brands like Saie tackle sustainability issues head on. If you have questions about SmartSolve materials, please feel free to contact us today!

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SmartSolve and Your Daye have joined forces to introduce environmentally-friendly feminine hygiene products.

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Did you know that 200,000 tons of menstrual waste is generated in the United Kingdom alone each year? Typically, this waste ends up in landfills, however, some products inevitably end up polluting seas, rivers, and beaches. In fact, period products are the fifth most common item found on Europe’s beaches, which makes these items more widespread than disposable coffee cups, cutlery, or even straws.

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The Your Daye team is committed to delivering environmentally-friendly feminine care products directly to your door. Daye tampons are made from 100% organic cotton, will biodegrade in standard landfill conditions within 12 weeks, and are also classified as compostable. With such an eco-friendly product, Daye has committed “a lot of time conducting material innovation and analyzing the life-cycle of their sustainable packaging, which includes SmartSolve Water-Soluble paper wrappers.”

SmartSolve’s bio-based, biodegradable, and compostable materials proved to be a perfect fit for Your Daye’s sustainability initiatives. In addition to being environmentally friendly, the water-soluble nature of SmartSolve packaging helps provide a unique user experience and increased convenience for customers using Daye products.

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Together, SmartSolve and Your Daye look forward to continuing to reduce the amount of plastic waste generated by the use of feminine hygiene products. They take pride in the sustainable innovations made possible through their partnership.

Learn more about SmartSolve’s environmentally friendly water-soluble materials or Your Daye’s product delivery services.

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As the COVID-19 pandemic reaches critical impact stages around the globe, The Outlook Series podcast has delved deeply into how infection control can be achieved within the hospital supply chain. Host Michael Lippis interviewed SmartSolve director Jonathan Jakubowski regarding infection control measures.

In its ongoing series regarding the effects of COVID-19 on various aspects of business, The Outlook Series podcast has addressed the various ways the supply chain has been affected by the disease. Recently, Jonathan Jakubowski, director, SmartSolve, appeared on the podcast to discuss how infection control strategies affect all parts of the healthcare industry.

Traditionally, the use of personal protective equipment (PPE) is thought of as a forward-facing issue, necessitating familiar measures such as proper hand washing, gloves, masks, and more. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has brought additional outside attention to an issue healthcare workers in multiple sectors of the industry must face every day – the safe disposal of the human byproducts that result from medical procedures such as surgery and childbirth. Often, these byproducts take the form of liquid medical waste.

The Drop-In Pacs from Safetec are a newly designed medical solidifier with an advanced self-dissolving technology to instantly absorb and solidify fluid waste. These slender pouches are now made with a faster acting, innovative water-soluble paper.

Typically, healthcare workers use solidifier products to prevent spillage from the standard plastic disposal canisters. However, product designer Safetec reached a roadblock when it came to developing a method to administer its product. Fortunately, according to Jakubowski, SmartSolve and Safetec were able to work together to design a unique solution using a dissolvable packaging material.

“Together with Safetec, we were able to design a slim packet that could be dropped into a medical waste cylinder’s narrow opening. Our unique material dissolves in solutions of at least 6% water and allows the entirety of the solidifier to interact with the medical waste in question,” says Jakubowski.

In addition, SmartSolve has an eye on other anti-COVID-19 infection control measures, including the use of antibacterial soaps as well as proper handwashing. Primarily, this involves utilizing the company’s dissolvable paper to craft individual-use paper soap to promote frequent handwashing. In closing, Jakubowski mentioned measures SmartSolve itself has taken to prevent the spread of infection, including maintaining social distancing, temperature scanning, limiting the use of food and drink in the workplace, and imposing self-quarantine requirements after travel.

Infection control affects us all, according to Jakubowski, and SmartSolve remains dedicated to the safety and wellbeing of its clients across many sectors of healthcare and business.

Click to hear the entire interview.

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Years ago, hospital workers at acute care centers, surgical centers, and other similar facilities had a primary issue with the disposal of the obligatory medical byproducts released by the various procedures performed there – and things could get messy.

Of course, OSHA-mandated procedures were in place to ensure the safety of the workers involved, but even with personal protective equipment (PPE), handling canisters full of bodily fluids and other surgical waste is a delicate process at best. At worst, storage bags have the potential to rupture and there’s always the potential for a storage canister to split open if dropped during transport.

An Initial Fix

Infection control expert Safetec of America, Inc. quickly offered a solution: packets of medical-grade solidifier that would resorb the liquid involved and transform the liquid medical waste housed within hospital-standard plastic cylinders into a solid. Essentially, this step eliminated any fears of liquid spatter during storage, transport, or via accidental means. However, one problem remained – packaging.

Other companies in the same arena offered tear-off packets which the user must empty into a narrow opening in the top of the canister, but unfortunately, the margin for error was rather wide.

Safetec’s initial solution was to package the solidifier within a structure similar to a tea bag, allowing liquid to seep in and mix with the solidifier, eventually bursting it and distributing the contents throughout the container. However, in some applications, this, too, proved problematic; if fluid levels were too high or too low, not all of the sample was exposed to the solidifier.

A Complete Solution Through Collaboration

The ultimate solution to Safetec’s packaging puzzle had already been invented – a dissolvable paper developed by fellow industry pioneer SmartSolve. This unique paper is fully dissolvable in a solution of at least 6% water and allows the entirety of the solidifier product to interact with the medical waste in question.

Together, SmartSolve and Safetec designed a slim packet that could be dropped directly into a medical waste cylinder’s narrow opening and dissolve, completely solidifying its contents for safe transport.

Ken Bianchi, Executive Vice President at Safetec America, Inc., commented, “Solidification products for the infection control market is kind of how we started years ago. Hospitals have different protocols for dealing with body fluids but one of the best ways to protect whoever's cleaning up after the surgery is to solidify the contents so it can be moved. Plus, if someone drops the canister, it's not going to present an infection control situation. We were using a couple of different materials when we met SmartSolve. We noticed they were doing some really interesting things with consumer products and wanted to incorporate their material into our acute care spill control solidifier line.”

SmartSolve Industries Director, Jonathan Jakubowski, put it this way: “Early adopters are hard to find, but Safetec is a diamond in the rough. When Safetec launched their melt-a-way line, this SmartSolve technology was brand new to the market. Their success and growth is a testament to their innovative vision coupled with the exceptional performance of SmartSolve heat-sealable materials.”

Drop-In Pacs solve a crucial safety issue while also enhancing the speed at which the solidifying agent begins to work. Even more impressive is the fact that the new packaging with SmartSolve dissolvable paper remains at about the same price point as the former product. Overall, the medical industry’s response to the product’s improved design has been outstanding.

Mr. Bianchi continued, ”There are a couple of big benefits to using the drop-in melt-away; it goes in the portal so you don't have to unscrew or cut the top of a bottle and pour it in. There's also no measuring because they're designed for a certain size or a certain amount of liquid. It provides a really easy way to use a solidifier - pull it out of the box and it goes in through the top of the canister, through the portal and then once it hits the solution it starts to work. It's safe, easy to use, and fast. It also has the potential to cut costs for the healthcare system.”

Need More Information?

Together, SmartSolve and Safetec take pride in the innovations made possible with collaboration and look forward to the opportunity to continue to innovate in the future. If you’d like more information about the wide range of possibilities SmartSolve’s bio-forward, eco-friendly solutions could offer you, reach out today.

If you’d like to see the partnership in action, visit Safetec’s product page for specs, videos and more.

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