Bandages are a necessary part of life, used to help heal and protect our cuts, scrapes, blisters, and burns. However not every bandage is made equal, with some doing more long-term harm than good, particularly to the planet.
Each year billions of single-use adhesive bandages are used and disposed of, ending up in our eco-system. The large majority of these are made of non-biodegradable plastic.
The life-cycle of a plastic bandage is extensive and harmful, from its origins to its disposal. The basis of a plastic bandage is petrochemicals; chemicals manufactured by oil extracted from the earth. The petrochemicals which make up a plastic bandage are typically either polyvinyl chloride (PVC), polyethylene or polyurethane.
Most people try to dispose of a used bandage correctly, in the rubbish where it will eventually travel to a landfill. However as most of us will have experienced bandages often fall off the skin without us noticing, particularly in water. Plastic bandages take years to break down, tainting natural landscapes and eventually becoming micro-plastics which are often ingested by animals and marine life.
First aid kits are not typically at the top of peoples list when considering sustainability as there has previously been little to no sustainable alternatives. However, it is time to question why humans put plastic on wounds, rather than a natural fibre like wool. Plastic is not conducive to healing wounds as it has little breathability, and it certainly doesn’t help the world once discarded.
WoolAid bandages are adhesive bandages made from 100% merino wool, and are plastic and latex free. The fabric of our bandages biodegrades within four to five months. Wool is known to release nutrients back into the soil as it biodegrades. And for wound healing, wool is a highly breathable natural fibre.
WoolAid bandages are now available for purchase at select retailers both in-store and online, and will be available at Torpedo7 in August. You can find a full list of our stockists here.