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 email@example.com
1. EPI – Environmental Products inc. http/www.epi-global.com
2. About TDPA- An additive for oxo-biodegradable plastics http/www.intellmail.com.au