As well as being a great product in its own right, the shiffter is about eco-friendly toilet cleaning. It has significant environmental benefits over toilet brushes…
Toilet cleaning that’s better for the environment
Aside from reducing plastic waste from throwaway toilet brushes and reducing the use of bleach and toilet cleaner (see below), the shiffter has the potential to reduce water usage in the UK by around 150 billion litres a year. This will not only save water, but the energy that goes into processing it. How can this be achieved?
How much do we flush?
About 30% of water used in a home is used to flush the toiletSource: Waterwise
We’re all familiar with repeat flushing, when the flush hasn’t cleaned the toilet bowl properly. Sometimes you have to do this more than once and most of the time it’s in vain. But, if you can clean it using a small jet of water rather than repeat flushing with several litres of water – in millions of toilets at home, at work or in the leisure sector – it all adds up.
We’ve mentioned that 30% of the water we use at home is used to flush the toilet. But let’s remember – this is the same high-quality water that’s in our taps!
Here’s the detail:
There are 27.8 million households in the UK and the average household comprises 2.4 people*. We each flush 5 times a day (on average)✝ with cisterns using 6 litres of water per flush. ✝ Multiplying the figures together shows we flush over 2 billion litres of water down the toilet every day in the UK. This equates to over 730 billion litres1 of water flushed every year.
If everyone in the UK flushed just once less each day, it would reduce water use by around 146 billion litres per year.
And the USA?
The US has 128 million households and a household size of 3.23.
If everyone in the US flushed once less a day, it would save over 905 billion litres, or 239 billion gallons, of water each year.
…and that’s just the UK and the USA!
The shiffter significantly reduces the need to repeat flush. However, that’s only one element of the eco-friendly toilet cleaning it delivers…
Use less toilet cleaner and bleach
Cleaning straight after you get up from the toilet using a shiffter means that you won’t need to scrub the toilet with bleach or toilet cleaner. This will save you money, time and reduce the amount of chemicals that go into the sewage system.
How much bleach and toilet cleaner do we use?
According to Statista, in the UK, in 2020, an estimated:
- 2.18 million people used lavatory cleaners more than once a day
- 8.15 million people were heavy lavatory cleaner users
- 4.15 million people used bleach “once a day or more”
- 4.2 million people were heavy domestic bleach users
Cleaning the toilet using a shiffter means that you don’t need to use bleach or toilet cleaner any way near as often, because you just jet wash the toilet clean immediately after use.
If each household reduced bleach/toilet cleaner use by just one bottle a year, that would add up to nearly 21 million litres of it – and that’s just in the UK!
BUT, there are MORE environmental savings HERE:
- It would reduce the need for 27.8 million bleach or toilet cleaner bottles a year1 equating to 834 tonnes of single use plastics.
- Reducing bleach and toilet cleaner usage by that amount a year will also save on the costs and CO2 emissions of making and transporting almost 24,000 tonnes (the combined weight) of the chemicals and bottles
What is the impact of bleach?
Interestingly, this article by Lucy Siegle covers how issues around chlorine bleach aren’t confined to its impact on sewage treatment, but “the real ethical issue centres around manufacture. Bleach is from the organochlorine family of chemicals, compounds rarely found in nature and which can take centuries to decompose.” Whichever way you look at it, reducing the use of bleach helps the environment.
Reducing throwaway plastics
Toilet brushes get pretty dirty. With some costing as little as £1, it’s easy to just throw them away and buy a new one. Even expensive toilet brushes come with replaceable heads, which can be thrown away and replaced cheaply.
We’ve covered how the shiffter can save 834 tonnes of plastic waste a year in the UK by reducing the amount of bleach or toilet cleaner we need to buy. Another obvious reduction of throwaway plastics comes from the reducing the need for toilet brushes.
How often should toilet brushes be replaced?
Numerous websites recommend replacing toilet brushes every six months (with every three months recommended for commercial washrooms). For £1 brushes, we can imagine it being more frequent – especially when you consider the effort taken to clean them.
The shiffter will last several years (expected to be at least five) and will be made from recycled and recyclable plastic. So, over its lifetime it could save almost 70,000 tonnes of non-recyclable plastic, or 13,900 tonnes a year.2
Fundamentally, the shiffter offers truly eco-friendly toilet cleaning!
So you can see from above that when it comes to eco-friendly toilet cleaning, the shiffter has huge environmental benefits as well as being great for cleaning the toilet.
But there’s more – we also want to give money to good causes.
*ONS figures ✝data from various sources
1Based on an average 750ml bottle size
2 Based on a brush weight of 250g. Many brushes are heavier and some lighter.
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