First published in Cleantech magazine, Volume 6 Issue 6. Copyright Cleantech Investor Ltd
A high tech version of ’the brick in the cistern’
Toilet flushing accounts for the largest proportion of water used in UK homes – comprising nearly 30% of the total. Isle of Man-based Dry Planet has developed a product which can save one litre of water every time a toilet is flushed – potentially reducing water use in the average home by 5%.Save-a-Flush®, launched in 1999, is a toilet cistern displacement device - a bio-degradable laminated envelope containing crystals which, once submerged in the toilet cistern, expand and inflate to form a ‘jelly’ brick. Fully expanded, it saves one litre of water every time the toilet is flushed. Dry Planet’s owner, Nigel McGowan, describes it as “a high tech version of the ‘brick in the cistern’ that was promoted by water companies in the seventies”. The envelope contains cross-linked potassium polyacrylamide, similar to the polymer used in disposable nappies.
Dry Planet’s main market was historically the UK, where water utilities use Save-a-Flush as a core part of their water efficiency programmes. In recent years the company has moved into new markets with deals in the USA, Australia, Mexico and South Africa.
The company’s strategy has also involved diversification into new markets with a focus on providing simple, low cost water saving products of appeal to businesses to provide to their staff and customers as part of a broader sustainability programme. Examples include products to save water in the shower, the garden and in the office.
The company structure, management, administration and intellectual property are all based in the Isle of Man, while other activities such as manufacturing and distribution are sub-contracted. Dry Planet is seeking new product ideas and companies with which to partner in order to leverage its technology and sector expertise to reach a wider market.