Local detergent refill center aims to reduce waste

DPI, Saturday, March 10, 2018

The “Tidy Up” Detergent Refill Center, which aims to promote the 3R initiative – recycling, reduction and the reuse of resources, was officially launched on Saturday.

The business which is located at Third Avenue Complex Mall in Diamond, East Bank Demerara provides a service that allows persons to refill their liquid detergent bottles at a reduced cost.

The company which is run and co-owned by a Dwayne and Melissa Younge has introduced a line of eight liquid detergents to the local market, which includes dishwashing and hand soaps, disinfectants and multipurpose cleaners, fabric softener and laundry detergents and degreaser and washing detergents for cars.

Five years ago, the Younges started the detergent-refill idea in their kitchen and laundry room, with just a bucket and paddle to experiment with their line of detergents. In the ensuing years, they formulated and reformulated the products until it was perfected.

Chemist behind the local brand, Melissa said she and her husband prided themselves on the quality of the product they worked to make available to the Guyanese market. “We have worked tremendously on providing a quality product that is still affordable for the homes and most importantly it is local. I think it is one of the things Guyanese can be proud of,” she said.

Dwayne, an Engineer by profession expressed delight in seeing the idea come to fruition. He thanked the Small Business Bureau (SBB), Republic Bank and Guyana Bank for Trade and Industry (GBTI) who assisted with loans and low interest rates.

Dwayne explained that the local line of detergents is the first of its kind in Guyana, and the business idea stemmed from a desire to override the negative effects plastic bottles have on society.

“One of the biggest challenge we have is the impact plastic bottles have in our community…it takes 400-450 years for a plastic bottle to be degraded into our environment…it translates to a high expenditure for us, our children and their generation to manage that plastic bottle for the next 450 years, ” he said.

The engineer believes since persons will now be able to reuse their bottles, the project will decrease the number of plastic bottle Guyana imports, and reduce the amount of money spent disposing of them. “Let us see how we can turn our waste into an opportunity.”

He encouraged persons and larger investors to join the family’s mission “to ensure that “another plastic bottle does not find its way into a dumpsite or waterway.”

Additionally, Dwayne explained future plans include the establishment of franchises of the Tidy Up line in other communities.

“The aim is to have this set up as a community focus project, so any community can set up a refill center. Young entrepreneurs can come and say ‘I have a space and we would like to set up a center in our community; we will manufacture and supply the detergents and help set up the refill center, even a mobile bus can be tuned into a refill center.”

Also attending the launch of Tidy Up detergent refill center, Chief Executive Officer of SBB, Dr. Lowell Porter congratulated the Younges on the launch of their business, and reiterated the agency’s support for low carbon businesses like ‘Tidy Up’.

He encouraged persons to support the local line of detergents. “We have to support businesses like these. We have to take our monies and invest it into our communities…if you don’t support the smaller businesses, then they will always remain small; you will always be buying overseas, and your country will always be lagging,” Dr. Porter said.

Office of Climate Change, Head, Janelle Christian also commended the Tidy Up business line, noting it is the first enterprise that is in keeping with the government’s green strategy.

Today, the company has in its employ a total of five persons, but hopes to extend their business to create more employment in the country.

By: Crystal Stoll

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