During May the prominent Interclean Amsterdam exhibition opened its doors to the world of cleaning and hygiene for the first time since 2018 due to the COVID-19 pandemic and related restrictions across the world.

During this time a lot has changed around the globe. The cleaning industry has seen a dramatic increase in the rightful focus, respect and appreciation of its activities and a demand for cleanliness which also created a rapid pace for innovation in the sector.

Following this prolonged period with the inability to meet in person, this exhibition created a sense of anticipation and excitement amongst both exhibitors and visitors which was clearly evident on the faces of people in an environment where face coverings was not compulsory.

With more than 650 exhibitors from 40 countries, the exhibition presented multiple opportunities for cleaning professionals to meet face to face again as well as see and experience products and innovations. A packed exhibition programme over the four days added to the cleaning showcase experience.

Innovation Awards

The category and overall winner of the Amsterdam Innovation Awards was announced on the first day following the official opening. The Amsterdam Innovation Awards reflect where the industry is currently – what its key drivers are, how it is meeting the greatest challenges, and what it is doing to secure a prosperous future.

The four product categories for the awards are:

  • Sustainability and environment
  • Smart technologies and digitalisation
  • Workforce and ergonomics
  • Hygiene and health

As usual, the jury was tasked with evaluating a high number of diverse entries. Considering the past two years have been an extremely challenging period for the sector’s manufacturers, the jury was impressed that the focus was still on innovation and driving forward with new development.

The overall innovation winner award went to Essity for its Tork 99 percent biobased heavy-duty cleaning cloth made from PLA, a compostable bioplastic derived renewable, fast-growing plant. With the development of this new cloth, Essity is aiming to reduce consumption, waste, pollution and emissions.

Other category awards included Workforce and Ergonomics which went to Arcora for its PU-PAD LIGHT floorpad.

With so many flooring surfaces being used in buildings it is always a challenge for cleaners to know which pad to use for best results. The PU-PAD is 100 percent environmentally friendly and can be used on any floor and on any cleaning machine brand.

Kärcher walked away with the Visitors’ Choice Award for its new BVL 5/1 BP backpack vacuum cleaner made from ultra-light, recyclable EPP material, designed to be robust, ergonomic and stable.

The jury commented further: “The past two years of the COVID-19 pandemic have clearly demonstrated the critical role of professional cleaning services to maintaining health and hygiene – the people and the products – and that will always be the case.

Read the full article in African Cleaning Review