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Protecting Patients, Equipment, and the Environment
0407 837 267

No 73 – Bio Protect is Going Strong

Good products aren’t just available in the big city and not only available from the big companies. Regular readers would know the story of Bio Protect’s beginnings, but for those who don’t, they are a small family owned business based in rural Victoria. Starting with seven items on the product list, Bio Protect now has a catalogue of 25 items and continues to build on these gradually. The products are cost effective degradable plastic – barriers and other plastic single use items used for every patient.

Marie Durham, Managing Director and founder of the company says, “The business is increasing consistently and continuously. Thank you to all our loyal customers who started ordering from us at the very beginning and still remain with us, increasing their list of items on their order as we increase our available items in our products list. Our customer base increases continuously and we want to also thank everyone who has come on board and given us their business. It just goes to show that anything is possible.”

The product is degradable to non–toxic end products within 1-2 years when discarded in landfill. (3-5 years for the harder plastic items). In comparison, traditional plastics take hundreds to thousands of years to break down.

Initially, the majority of sales were in Victoria only. Now sales are national with clients from Ballarat to as far away as Perth and Cairns and beyond. The products are now also listed on the National Product Catalogue with GS1 and are contracted to the Health Purchasing Victoria Dental Consumables catalogue.

“Supporting small business is an Aussie motto seen and heard everywhere. We appreciate that our customers are supporting us as a small business competing against the big supply companies,” says Marie.

“Owning a small business, in turn, makes us here at Bio Protect more aware of considering small business ourselves, both in business and personal purchases.

“We are really proud to be offering a quality product at a great price, quality customer service and products to help dental professionals use more environmentally friendly product in their daily work practices.”

Delivery is most times within 2- 3 day delivery (longer for WA and far North QLD).

Read more about the company story on our website. 
For more information contact Marie on 0407 837 267 or email

No 72 – Why You Should Choose Bio Protect for Your Plastic Barriers

Small Bracket Table Drape 120 cm x 80 cm-0

  • Cost effective
  • Environmentally sustainable product
  • Time saving
  • Effective changeover
  • Personal and friendly customer service

Your dental assistant has a vital role in maintaining infection control in the surgery. With an effective use of barriers the amount of surface areas which become contaminated is minimised. With Bio Protect, you no longer have to worry about the plastic waste and its environmental effect, or the expense. Customers who buy these products from us are provided with a notice to display on the wall so that patients can see that they are using a more environmentally friendly option.

Why Bio Protect over any other brand?

Bio Protect products are made from EPI oxo-biodegradable plastic which degrades in landfill within 1–2 years , with a shelf life of 2–5 years. They are sold at a very competitive price, not only making a change to the environment but also your supply budget.

Bio Protects “oxo-biodegradable” products are an environmentally friendly way of using plastic barriers and other disposables.

“Our products include a range of plastic barriers as well as other plastic disposable single use items such as suction tips, saliva ejectors, bibs, micro-brush tip applicators and rubbish bin liners at a very competitive price. Customers are always surprised by the price. Changeover process is quick, equipment protected, and you now have the choice to use an environmentally friendly product.

Once a DA develops effective processes in removing barriers without creating further cross contamination, changeover is fast and the amount of surfaces and bio burden requiring wiping is reduced. Barriers protect expensive equipment from dental materials and excessive use of cleaning agents. Barriers provide a visual of what should and should not be touched.

“We developed Bio Protect after many years working in the dental industry and the realisation of how much effect a dental clinic has on the damage to environment. We are a smaller family based company offering a friendly personalised quality customer service, which our customers love. One stop shopping with larger supply companies may be convenient but items like ours are often more expensive purchased that way too.”

Visit for more information on oxo-biodegradable plastic.

Links to more information can be viewed on the website:

Orders can be placed online, via phone or email. Contact Marie on 0407 837 267 or

No 69B – News from Marie

Marie Durham, managing director of Willcharl trading as Bio Protect is proud of where the company has progressed to. Regular readers would already know the history of Bio Protects beginnings as a small family owned and run business which was developed through Marie’s working experiences as a dental assistant and as an educator and assessor for Cert III Dental Assisting.

Her observations of the amount of plastic waste used in the dental clinical settings prompted her to find a workable more environmentally friendly substitute for the material used to make barriers and other plastic every patient disposable item. Victorian based sales began throughout the state and are now Australia wide.

“I am really proud to say that our products have become widely used across Australia and that they are regarded as good quality and very competitive in price compared to the same products available in regular plastic.

“We have now also become a provider of employment opportunities, outside of the family base. We have more hands on in the warehouse and Lyla Wilson is becoming well known as a visiting rep with her enthusiastic approach to introducing the product.

Our most recent development is a successful application to tender with Health Purchasing Victoria’s (HPV) Dental Requisites catalogue, giving access to products for all mandated Victorian public health services and hospitals contracted to ordering from this catalogue.

The high product standards and quality expected and set by HPV meant that the tender process was very extensive and requires a huge amount of evidence to prove you have a quality and standards approved product.

Already on the register for Therapeutic Goods Australia, we are now required to be registered with GS1 Australia and the GS1 recall net, and to have our products listed in the National Product Catalogue. We are working toward the GS1 system for barcoding currently.”

(GS1 Australia is the leading provider of standards and solutions for over 20 industry sectors. Manufacturers and retailers worldwide rely on the GS1 system.)

Marie is urging all Victorian public health services and hospitals contracted to HPV to look for the Bio Protect products in the Dental Requisites catalogue. Note: Supplier name is stated as Willcharl.

By opting for our barriers and any of our other disposables available you can feel good about making a difference to the environment whilst enjoying a very competitive price.

For more information on the products contact Marie on 0407 837 267 or

No 69A – Meet Our Melbourne Based Sales Rep, Lyla

Lyla Wilson is Bio Protects’ sales representative.

Lyla began her career in dental nursing through the Royal Dental Hospital Melbourne in the late 70’s, and has over 25 years of experience in all aspects of dental assisting in the private sector. She was a sales

representative for Sensodyne for over four years, after which embarking on a career change to the television industry, where she worked at the ABC for 20 years.

Lyla retained her passion for the dental industry, however, and was very excited to move back into dental sales, joining Bio-Protect CEO and long-time friend, Marie Durham.

Marie explained, “We had begun discussions of the need to employ someone in that role when virtually at the same time I was reunited with Lyla. I knew she was the perfect person for the job and Lyla was looking for employment back in that area. The result has been fantastic. “

Covering Melbourne CBD and outer suburbs, Lyla’s bubbly, enthusiastic approach to the job and our company is a pleasure to experience. Clients are very happy dealing with her.

Lyla loves working for Bio-Protect as she is passionate about providing clinics with quality, yet affordable products; as well as the opportunity to improve the impact dental consumables have on the environment.

In her spare time, Lyla enjoys travelling, Latin dancing and doting on her gorgeous grandson.

For queries and information on Bio Protect, Lyla can be reached on 0407 533 927 or email

Alternatively, contact Marie on 0407 837 267 or email

No 62 – Why Our Product is Better

Bio Protects “oxo-biodegrable” products are an environmentally friendly way of using plastic barriers and other disposables, but how and why?

Bio Protect products are – Totally degradable products made from “normal” polyethylene – the same as most bags – but also contain a percentage by weight of a proprietary patented oxo-biodegradable additive known as TDPA (totally degradable plastic additives) manufactured by a company called EPI (Environmental Products Inc.). The additives do not affect the strength and capabilities of the plastic for its desired use, but they accelerate the break down process once placed into waste. The additives are non-toxic.

How does the material break down:

TDPA additives have been formulated so that after the product has been used and discarded, it undergoes oxidative degradation and breaks down into brittle fragments. This happens as a result of exposure to heat or UV light and mechanical stress (or any combination thereof). The plastic molecules become much smaller, water wettable, and microbes can use them as a food source.

Once in landfill the micro-organisms break it down to Carbon Dioxide CO2, water, humus (complex organic substance which is important to the fertility of soils), and trace elements (micro-nutrients which are required by living organisms). They are consumed by microorganisms after the additives have reduced the weight.Triplex/Handpiece Barrier with Slit - 26 cm x 6.5 cm -0

Other relevant factors include:

– Does not leave fragments of petro-polymers in the soil

– Does not emit methane or nitrous oxide

– Can be safely recycled

– Can be composted – Degradable bags are ideal for disposal in landfills. The bags are also designed to degrade in home compost or commercial compost. However, the speed of degradation always depends on the actual location and condition of the compost.

How long it takes to degrade depends on the type of landfill or waste disposal the product ends up in. There is a first stage process whereby the product becomes brittle and fragments into smaller pieces. The speed at which this occurs will depend on the availability of UV light, oxygen, heat and physical stress experienced – all of which can contribute to a speedier chemical transformation in the landfill environment. However, normally, the degradable barriers take 18-24 months to degrade. The harder plastic items can take up to three years.

The factors of heat, UV light (sunlight) and mechanical stresses are the most common ways in which oxidative degradation is triggered. One or any combination of the above factors is needed to start the degradation process.

Our products have a shelf life of 2 – 5 years when stored in a cool dry environment.

“Our products include a range of plastic barriers, suction tips, saliva ejectors, bibs, micro-brush tip applicators and rubbish bin liners at a very competitive price. Customers are always surprised by the price. I think we all expect the things that are better or healthier for us are always going to be more expensive but that’s not the case with our products. “

Visit for more information on oxo-biodegradable plastic.

For more information contact Marie on 0407 837 267 or email

No 60 – Using Barriers or Wiping: Have you considered all aspects of your options?

Managing Director and Founder of Bio Protect discusses why she developed her own business with more environmentally friendly plastic disposables in dental settings.

Through my work in the dental industry I could see, particularly with the use of barriers, how much plastic was going into the bins in one day of patient appointments. Not just in the clinic I worked in but the majority of clinics running day to day. Whilst I realise and respect that the use of barriers is not everyone’s preference, I was motivated to develop my business because I prefer the use of barriers, and like many, was concerned about the environmental impact we were having by using them.

How many times have you heard the question posed: should we wipe or use barriers?

Studies have been conducted to determine which is best, and, what we hear from our educators and lecturers is that wiping or using barriers is as effective as each other but only if each procedure is applied correctly.

It is a preference of each individual clinic to which method they use.

Large Bracket Table Drape 120 cm x 120 cm -0

According to one infection control guideline document adopted by the Dental Board of Australia in their Dental Guidelines for infection Control July 2010, the current NHMRC Guidelines 2010, there is still a need for some barriers. (See NHMRC – Australian Guidelines for Prevention and Control of Infection in Healthcare (2010) Section B1.4 –Routine Management of the Physical Environment, Recommendation No 13 – Barriers.

Use surface barriers to protect clinical surfaces (including equipment) that are:

– Touched frequently with gloved hands during the delivery of patient care

– Likely to become contaminated with blood or body substances

– Difficult to clean

(Exceptions to this should be judged by risk assessment)

Why do I prefer the use of barriers?

Dental assistants have a vital role in maintaining infection control in the surgery. The use of detergents and hospital grade disinfectants, and barriers, and the ability to carry out non touch techniques whilst chairside, plays an important role in obtaining this. The DA must also be able to do so effectively and efficiently to enable a fast and smooth workflow.

It is very hard to affect a quick changeover when needing to ensure a thorough wipe over of all surfaces and have those surfaces ready for a new set up. Some bio burden may be missed. I find with an effective use of a barrier the amount of surface areas which become contaminated is minimised. Once a DA develops effective processes in removing barriers without creating further cross contamination, changeover is fast and the amount of surfaces and bio burden requiring wiping is reduced. Barriers protect expensive equipment from dental materials and provide a visual of what should and should not be touched.

Wiping must be done thoroughly and in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions and recommendations or the process is not effective. This may include that the solution must stay on the surface for a certain time. A wiped surface must be dried prior to resetting. Multiple cloths are required and the method must not result in transfer of contamination from one area to another. Wipe over products can be expensive, are time consuming to use effectively and may have damaging effects over time on expensive equipment. If pre-dispensed wipes are not used the solutions must be freshly made and the containers labelled and maintained.

Some do not prefer the use of barriers due to the waste, the environmental effect and cost.

In the planning stages of my business I determined one patient basic dental treatment in a clinic that fully uses barriers might use up to 10 – 12 barriers per patient, currently costing approximately $0.36 – $0.40 per patient (based on Bio Protect product prices). Changeover process is quick, equipment protected, and we now have an environmentally friendly product. Bio Protect products are made from EPI oxo-biodegrable plastic degrading in landfill within 1 – 2 years. They are sold at a very competitive price, not only making a change to the environment but also your budget.

For more information contact Marie on 0407 837 267 or email

No 59 – New Products from Bio Protect (Grab Bags)

Save time and money with every procedure.

One of Bio Protects oxo-biodegradable barriers has become a very popular item in their sales.

The Grab Bag is designed for easy and practical use for retrieval processes whilst working chairside.

Smaller than Tray Barrier/freezer bag style barriers which some clinics use for this purpose, the Grab Bag takes up less space on the bench. Using Grab Bags saves on gloves and time. There is less changing of gloves and less time taken up in between tasks.

Managing Director of Bio Protect Marie Durham says, “Grab Bags are a great way of working chairside and performing tasks such as retrieval from drawers, dispensing and mixing materials and even accessing the computer. It takes the place of removing gloves and performing hand hygiene and placing another new set of gloves on, which is the process required under the ADA Infection Control Guidelines, if not using a barrier.

Grab Bag 24 cm x 22 cm -0

We made sure the micron thickness of the oxo–biodegradable plastic used was enough so that the bag stays open for easier “hands in and out” during procedures, yet is soft and pliable enough to perform the tasks required.

The correct use of the bag is very important particularly maintaining the clean and dirty zones and the clean and dirty surface of the bag. A new bag or bags is used for each patient.

Having been involved with teaching and assessing in dental assistant training programs, I am aware these programs have a strong commitment and requirement to ensure that all DA graduates are competent in skills and knowledge related to their job role and according to the competency in the training packages and the ADA Guidelines. One of these skills is the use of various non-touch techniques which may include the use of clean barriers placed over contaminated gloves to retrieve from cupboards and to dispense dental materials during clinical procedures. Our Grab Bags are perfect for this”.

Bio Protect Grab Bags can be purchased direct through Bio Protect @ $14.30 per box/500. Item no GB09.

All products from Bio Protect are made of oxo-biodegradable plastic and the range includes many of your “every patient “disposable items such as barriers, suction tips, micro brush tip applicators, mouth rinse cups and more. By using Bio Protect Products dental clinics can be more environmentally friendly at a very competitive price.

For more information contact Marie on 0407 837 267 or email

No 58B – About Bio Protect

Bio Protect provides environmentally friendly EPI OXO-BIODEGRADABLE plastic disposable barriers and every other patient plastic disposable item.

Bio Protect brings a more environmentally friendly solution to using barriers in the dental clinic.

Marie Durham first thought of sourcing a more environmentally-friendly way of using barriers in the dental setting two years ago. It was an inspired thought because Bio Protect has now expanded into a thriving business.

Marie has an extensive background in the dental industry as a dental assistant spanning over 30 years. She trained at the Royal Dental Hospital of Melbourne and has extensive experience in both the private and public sector. Her career developed from clinical duties to clinical co-ordinator roles and then into the training field as the co-ordinator of the trainee Dental Assistant Program for DHSV and to teaching and assessing for the Certificate III Dental Assisting Program with RMIT.

Over this period, Marie saw how effective plastic barriers are and how widely used they have become in dental practices in assisting with infection control. They are an effective way of protecting equipment and surfaces to prevent cross infection as well as equipment damage and minimising the use of surface detergents and disinfectants.

Bringing a more environmentally friendly solution by using barriers in the dental clinic.

“A huge amount of barriers are used by dentists every day and they end up in our landfill,” Marie explains.

“To make these products environmentally safe, we went through the process of researching environmentally friendly plastics including bio-degradable and degradable types. We found oxo-biodegradable plastic, because of its disposability features and shelf life advantages, to be the type of choice over biodegradable plastic. Biodegradable plastic was not an option as it needs to be disposed of in compost waste to gain the full benefits of degradation. We ordered our first shipment of oxo-biodegradable plastic barriers from a company in China, one of only a few manufacturing companies that has the licence to use the EPI approved total Degradable Plastic Additives (TDPA’s) used to make the oxo-biodegradable plastic. We did a trial with eight items in 2011.”

Starting in Victoria she gradually gained enough customers to make the business viable. “We then started expanding our line and making improvements to both the product and the packaging.”

She then visited the supplier in China to discuss improvements and further production of items.

“I was really impressed with the factory in regard to its efficiency and cleanliness. The workers were all included in our consultation. This company is one of only a few who hold the licence to manufacture these types of plastics and has a clear knowledge and understanding of eco-friendly materials and were capable of supplying further plastic items for the dental clinic use.”

Bio Protect now has over 20 items available and all Bio Protect products are included on the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods.

“With a growing client base we are receiving some really positive feedback in regard to quality, price, service and the impact we are making on the environment. Clients appreciate that, as a family owned and operated business, they get a personalised service when we deal direct with each customer.”

“I still miss my involvement with the trainee dental assistants and miss working chairside but by running my own business I am still connected to the dental industry.

“We supply plastic barriers and other ‘every patient plastic disposables’ for use in dental clinics that are made from a responsible and sustainable product. These are low cost and disposable and help protect our environment. All our barriers are less expensive than regular plastic barriers currently available. The product is not biodegradable but “oxo-biodegradable” and it is important that our customers know what they are buying when looking into these types of products”.

The Bio Protect products are made of EPI (Environmental Plastics inc.) 100% oxo-biodegradable material (AstM 695404, EPI cert no. 3010508303). The products are degradable.

Products have a shelf life of two to five years when stored in a cool dry environment.

For more information contact Marie on 0407 837 267 or email



1. EPI – Environmental Products inc. http/

2. About TDPA- An additive for oxo-biodegradable plastics http/

No 58A – New Products from Bio Protect

EPI OXO-BIODEGRADABLE PLASTIC disposable dental items

BIO PROTECT protects patient’s equipment and the environment with EPI OXO-BIODEGRADABLE PLASTIC disposable dental items. Bio Protect recently introduced more products and continue to make a difference to the environmental impact being made in dental clinics with new improved quality being introduced.

When Bio Protect first introduced oxo-biodegradable products to dental industry it was solely a supplier of plastic barriers. Now they have advanced to carrying a supply of more ‘every patient’ plastic disposable items at a very competitive price made from the same oxo-biodegradable material as their barriers. Improvements have also being made to their initial barrier stock items.

Dental professionals can now boast that they are using an environmentally friendly range when patients comment on how much plastic they use. Bio Protect also provides wall posters informing their patients that they are using degradable plastic disposables. Bio Protect founder and Managing Director, Marie Durham explains, “Once we realised clients were happy about an alternative to regular plastic we moved on to making improvements and expanding our range. Clients were asking for the other plastic items to be available in the oxo-biodegradable material. We now have slow speed and high speed suction tips, micro brush tip applicators, bibs and disposable cups.

“In regard to our initial stock, improvements were made on the triplex handpiece barrier (with or without a slit). This item would be the most commonly used barrier item. Clients were finding our initial stock to be sometimes difficult to open due to the plastic being clingy and some of the packaging was not user friendly for efficient changeover processes.”

After a visit to China to consult with their manufacturer and address some of the issues, Bio Protect’s latest stock of Triplex Handpiece Barrier is a softer, non- sticky, easy to open plastic. It is also more comfortable for the operator to handle on their equipment. The packaging is now in a neat slim line box of 500 with an opening at the top. The complete Bio Protect barrier range has incorporated the same improvements.

The Tray Barrier Multi Purpose in a flat pack – Another new feature is the packaging for the Tray Barrier Multi Purpose. This is still available on a roll, like the traditional produce roll commonly used, but is now available in a flat pack of 500. The Tray Barrier Multi Purpose in a flat pack which allows for fast efficient removal one at a time from the box, reduces time in the changeover process in the surgery and limiting handling.

Bio Protect is located in Gordon, Victoria and supplies direct to customers nationally.

For more information and details about the products and the material used, contact Marie directly on 0407 837 267 or via email

Covid-19 Update 😷

Due to the increased demand on delivery providers, you may experience some delivery delays.

We’re working as fast as we can to get your parcels delivered – thanks so much for your patience!