Being a company that prides itself on supplying organizations and individuals with products that enable them to clean up spills and ultimately protect themselves as well as the environment, it just doesn't make sense to implement anything into our offering that would actually harm either or. Being excellent at absorbing spills and being safe (for plants, animals, & humans) go hand-in-hand. We won't have one without the other. So, it's no surprise that when it came time to deciding upon a blend for our flagship product, we weren't going to settle for anything less than what we didn't feel comfortable using in our own kitchens.
So what material would exceed expectations in absorbing liquid, be safe to literally eat, be sustainable, all while actually furthering environmental improvement?
Clay based absorbent (commonly known as "kitty litter" or "floor dry") was a definite no. First, it's super heavy to the point where you might actually strain your back while carrying it. Second, it contains carcinogens/crystalline silica. Combine that with the extreme dust creation that it makes (which is most likely inhaled by the user) when applying it and you have a recipe for a serious health hazard.
Next up is peat moss which many regard as a sustainable and environmentally friendly absorbent material. Upon looking into it we found otherwise. Did you know that it takes around 15 years for 1 inch of peat moss to grow? So if you harvested just 3 inches of peat moss, you would destroy 45 years of work that the environment had put in creating it. Not to mention harvesting peat requires the digging up of the earth's living surface, ruining ecosystems in the process. The same process of digging it up releases carbon dioxide and drives climate change in a negative direction. With these factors considered, we questioned as to if peat moss is truly sustainable.
Finally, our search turned up some promising results. A light-weight, super absorbent material. What material was this? Coconuts. Not the white, interior flesh part of the coconut but rather the exterior husk/coir. Coconuts are not vegetables, nuts, or fruits. They belong to an entirely different group called "drupes". The husk of the coconut, when processed, exceeded our testing in regard to absorbency. We ran it through a number of absorbency tests including, but not limited to, motor oil, transmission fluid, canola oil, olive oil, maple syrup, laundry detergent, and even eggs. Tests showed that it had the ability to expand and absorb up to nine times its own weight. When handling it, we could actually feel it "pulling" the moisture from our hands. Not to mention it was incredibly light. 2 bags were placed side by side. They were filled with the same volume of material, one with clay and the other with coconut coir. The bag of clay weighed 3 times more then the bag of coconut coir. However, the bag of coconut still absorbed up to 6 times as much transmission fluid. The best part? Coconuts, specifically the husks, are highly sustainable.
How exactly are coconut husks sustainable? Coconut trees grow naturally in over 80 countries across the globe. Each one of these trees produces approximately 50 coconuts per year on average. The Philippines, for example, is home to approximately 340 million coconut trees. Assuming each one of these trees produces 50 coconuts per year, there are 16.95 billion coconuts each year in the Philippines alone. Things don't stop there as far as absorbent and sustainability is concerned. A portion of these coconuts are harvested and exported...but not by us. In fact, we don't do any of the harvesting. Coconuts are sought after in large quantities by the cosmetics industry for their many benefits as a base ingredient in anti-aging creams, hair care creams, and skin care creams. The cosmetics industry is first place for market share in relation to coconut usage and accounts for approximately 65% of market share. Second is the food industry. The food industry takes to harvesting coconuts for their wealth of advantages in terms of implementation into many food and baking applications. Coconut water is also utilized in various sports drinks.
Having said this, both the cosmetics and food industry mostly harvest coconuts for their inner white "meat". The husks are discarded and deposited in mass quantities in landfills and then burned by the
millions. Not only is this waste, but when fire burns it creates methane and carbon dioxide, both of which are bad for the environment on their own. So, by using coconut husks as the base ingredient in our granular absorbent blend, we are able to provide you with an exceptional absorbent that is 100% safe for you and the environment. Additionally, by creating each bag of MEI Granular Absorbent, we can contribute to the wellness of the environment. This is done by using a sustainable resource that is not only naturally plentiful in the first place (coconut husks), but by using a resource that would otherwise be discarded as a by-product of the food and cosmetics industries.
MEI Granular Absorbent is available in 2 different sized bags so that you can be ready for any kind of spill at home or at work:
Our 3 L Absorbent Packet is convenient and can be kept in a cupboard in the kitchen or in the garage. It has been brought to market for household use. With it you can easily clean up laundry detergent, gasoline from the lawn mower/car, eggs, vomit, cooking oil, grease, and pretty much any other liquid you can think of. If you are wanting to be ready for a fuel leak while driving, The absorbent packet is an excellent option. The Absorbent Packet is also included in many of our truck spill kits for those wanting to take their spill preparedness to the next level.
Our 35 L Bag is made for industrial use. The bag is highly durable and provides you with a large volume of absorbent material to absorb industrial/commercial sized spills that may occur in mechanic shops, from machinery on a construction site, jet fuel in airport hangars, and more. The absorbent also floats on water, allowing it to absorb liquid right off water. This is ideal for marine operations.