Even wound care can be green.
When it comes to zero waste goals, my first aid kit isn't even on my list. Some things are best left untouched. But I do make a point of buying fabric bandages instead of plastic. My kids are constantly getting scraped and banged up and, as every parent surely knows, nothing soothes them faster than a stick-on bandage.
I hate how the plastic ones linger outdoors. I see them at the beach, on sidewalks, on hiking trails, and want to do my best not to contribute to that icky non-biodegradable waste. Fabric bandages work well, but I hadn't realized there were even greener options available until I learned about PATCH bandages.These natural adhesive strips, made in Australia, have won multiple awards for being plastic- and latex-free, biodegradable, vegan, and cruelty-free. They are made from organic bamboo fiber, produced using the Lyocell production process, which is considered to be the most environmentally-friendly method.
The company started when founder James Dutton noticed his son Charlie's skin reacting badly to conventional bandages; in fact, the bandages seemed to make his wounds worse. James did some research.
"He was shocked to discover that there is an array of chemicals that lurk in the common plasters. He became motivated to find better alternatives when he found that Charlie wasn’t alone with his reactions. His research found that a staggering number of the of the world's population can’t wear common wound care coverings, which was predicted to be on rise."
That's how PATCH was born, a natural yet effective alternative that does not compromise on hygiene, adhesiveness, and absorbency. It has been sold around the world since 2016.
PATCH makes plain bandages, as well as ones enriched with coconut oil, aloe vera and activated charcoal. The coconut oil strips are geared toward kids to soothe sensitive skin and come in a fun panda print. The aloe vera strips are aimed at soothing blisters, burns, and abrasions. The activated charcoal strips, extra-durable and designed with athletes in mind, draw out impurities and infections in the wound.
The adhesive in all the bandages is a hypoallergenic Pressure Sensitive Adhesive, "made from a combination of natural minerals and nano technology (think tiny suction cups) to gently adhere to the skin without causing reactions." All bandages come in a cardboard tube that's 100% recyclable and compostable.
You can order online or find stockists in Australia, the United States, and Canada.