There is a market for clean hands these days because of COVID-19, and a Hawkesbury company is doing its best to meet that demand.
The Green Beaver Company, which manufactures all-natural, environmentally-friendly personal care products, has started making hand sanitizer at a time when it has been in short supply on store shelves.
According to Green Beaver Co-founder and President Alain Menard, hand sanitizer is not usually part of the company’s product development plan, but the need resulting from COVID-19 allowed them to adapt because the virus emergency had thwarted other projects that were in progress.
Menard said that Green Beaver was about to launch a major marketing campaign for a new aluminum-free antiperspirant, but that had to be postponed, and three marketing employees had to be laid off. Normally, approximately 30 people work at the company, located on Tupper Street in Hawkesbury.
“I think that by making hand sanitizer, we can help keep some jobs,” Menard said.
The hand sanitizer made at Green Beaver is a spray product which is 70 per cent alcohol. Health Canada requires the products to contain a minimum of 60 per cent alcohol and a maximum of 80 per cent. Menard said he chose the mid-point for the alcohol content in his product. Unlike gel sanitizers, no other chemical agents are added to the spray product, and any fragrances added are from essential oils.
“It’s all about natural ingredients,” said Menard.
The alcohol used in hand sanitizer is ethanol. According to Menard, demand for that is high right now too, making it a challenge to obtain the key ingredient for the product.
“Right now, we need alcohol,” he said.
Due to the shortage of pharmaceutical grade alcohol, Health Canada has given manufacturers permission to use food and technical grade alcohol in hand sanitizers.
The initial production run of hand sanitizer at Green Beaver was small at 15,000 bottles. It is only being sold on the company’s website, and some was also donated to Hawkesbury and District General Hospital and to Glengarry Memorial Hospital in Alexandria. Menard is awaiting a shipment of packaging for two additional production runs of 45,000 bottles each that are planned for May and June. The hand sanitizer made in those batches will be sold along with Green Beaver’s other products which are already available at health food stores, and major supermarket and drugstore chains.
All Green Beaver’s products carry the ECO-CERT logo because they meet natural health and environmental standards.
A 90-millilitre bottle of Green Beaver hand sanitizer sells for $7.99. To make a purchase, shop online at https://greenbeaver.com/en/products/hand-wash .