This article first appeared in our COP26 issue of My Green Pod Magazine, distributed with The Guardian on 05 November 2021. Click here to subscribe to our digital edition and get each issue delivered straight to your inbox
Many mainstream cleaning products carry a warning that they are harmful to all aquatic life, with long-lasting effects. It’s impossible to believe we can use them regularly – all over the world – without adversely affecting our oceans and the life they support.
‘In the early part of 2021 we realised the market was missing a great-performing and eco-friendly cleaning product range’, says Ant McCourt, co-founder of MACK. ‘It was then we decided to co-develop our commercial range for the domestic market’, adds co-founder Ian Millar.
Up until this point, Ian and Ant had faced a dilemma that might sound familiar: the choice of cleaning products was restricted to big names and supermarket offerings that aren’t good for people or planet, or the expensive brands that can disappoint on the performance side. ‘There always seemed to be a trade-off’, Ian explains, ‘and we knew with our products that was no longer the case.’
Fill your own bottles
MACK was founded in 2019, and the commercial cleaning products that preceded the domestic range are still used in industrial settings. They are a popular choice in the hospitality sector and are even found on the boats used by Sea Shepherd, the marine conservation society.
Today the carbon-neutral business also sells all the products you might need to clean your home – a multi-surface cleaner, de-scaler, floor cleaner, sanitiser and even a degreaser – but only in concentrated form, and never with a bottle.
You can buy a trigger head from MACK ‘if you absolutely have to’ and attach it to one of the many empty bottles you almost certainly already have in the house.
‘Reduction of our reliance on single-use plastic is a central tenet of the business’, Ant tells us, ‘and there’s a multi-faceted rationale. Obviously there’s a cost saving to us – which means ultimately to the customer – when existing assets are reused.’
‘We all complain about the ubiquity of single-use plastic, so now we can act in a positive manner and do something about it’, Ian adds. ‘Manufacturers will keep producing plastic if we keep buying it – directly or indirectly.’