EPA Brags of Taking Weeks to Approve Soft-Pack Packaging for Scarce Disinfectant Wipes

New York (CNN)The coronavirus pandemic has made all kinds of virus-busting home cleaning products nearly impossible to find.

Disinfectant wipes, especially, are in high demand with consumers clearing out shelves just as quickly as stores restock them.

But now, one of the biggest makers of private-label wipes says tens of millions more wipes are expected to hit store shelves.

Rockline Industries, which makes Good & Clean wipes and store brand products for major retailers, said the wipes will be available at stores later this month.

. . .

Rockline was able to increase its wipes production because of a packaging tweak.

Cleaning wipes are predominantly packaged in hard plastic canisters, unlike baby wipes, which usually come in soft-packs.

. . .

But the unprecedented demand for household disinfectant wipes led to Rockline maxing out its canister production. It needed a different solution to be able to quickly and significantly increase the volume of packaged wipes to meet demand.

. . .

Given how quickly the disinfectant wipes supply is depleting in the market in response to the pandemic, Rockline, in February [2020], started exploring different ways to expedite supply, including alternative packaging formats.

The disinfectant wipes products are registered with the Environmental Protection Agency, which oversees the category and approves new products, new ingredients and packaging changes for individual companies.

So, several weeks ago, Rockline had talks with the EPA about putting its disinfectant wipes in soft-packs in addition to canisters as a way to get even more product into stores. Clorox and Lysol already sell some wipes in soft-packs.

“Typically the approval could take several months,” Dresselhuys said. Rockline was able to get the approval in just a matter of weeks.

The EPA said it’s in its interest to ensure Americans have access to approved surface disinfectant products effective against the novel coronavirus.

“To this end, the agency is expediting disinfectant product reviews and identifying regulatory flexibilities to avoid supply chain disruptions, including ingredient sourcing changes, manufacturing location additions or changes, and packaging changes,” the agency said in a statement to CNN Business.

For the full story, see:

Kavilanz, Parija. “No One Can Get Disinfectant Wipes. One Company Found a Clever Solution to Put Them on Shelves.” In CNN Business, Fri., May 1, 2020, URL: https://www.cnn.com/2020/05/01/business/disinfectant-wipes-shortage-coronavirus/index.html.

(Note: ellipses added.)

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