Gareth Ellis, the Managing Director at EcoGrit Ltd turns away from damaging products used for gritting, protecting people and the planet in icy conditions
With weather patterns becoming more uncertain and new records being set at both ends of the scale, winter can become a dangerous place, leaving us needing sufficient gritting on roads and preparations for icy conditions. We can never be sure in what areas the cold and frost will hit, often leaving us unprepared.
The most widely used product now for gritting is rock salt, and this has been used for many years, even though we know it is not ideal because of the damage it causes to the areas we use it on as well as the wider environment. Rock salt is not only very corrosive but is only effective at around -6C.
Rock salt gritting has a low moisture absorption factor, which means it can prevent the ground from freezing down to a ground temperature of -6C (ground temperature is usually about two degrees lower than air temperature).
If the temperature falls below -6C then the rock salt just freezes and this can be dangerous on paths because even though it looks gritted, it is still slippery and so more accidents can occur. Even a light fall of snow can quickly saturate the rock salt rendering it useless, meaning it should then be reapplied.
Icy conditions can have serious knock-on effects
In icy conditions, if the gritting isn’t done adequately, it increases the possibility of slips resulting in injuries sometimes severe enough that the victim must take time off work. This can be quite a problem for the military, police or emergency services as these highly and expensively trained individuals can’t easily be replaced.
Even injuries to government staff, pharmacists, doctors and nurses can have a severe knock-on effect on the running of various offices that is why it is imperative to make sure that the walkways and paths at these establishments are adequately maintained to be ice-free via gritting no matter what the weather. It is each facility’s responsibility to make sure staff and visitors or patients have safe routes around the buildings they occupy.
In the last couple of years, different areas have experienced unexpected, longer colder snaps and more extreme weather bringing with it plenty of problems. The solution has been to just put down larger amounts of rock salt gritting, but this gets to a point where the damage done becomes expensive to fix and if the temperature drops enough it can lead to closures of facilities and services.
This is where EcoGrit comes in
EcoGrit concentrate is a safer, non-toxic, more environmentally friendly alternative to rock salt that’s made with natural ingredients and won’t harm plants, animals or children (even when ingested).
It is not actually a grit it’s a granular product which means it doesn’t get carried into buildings on footwear, it breaks down completely and leaves no mess behind. It reacts with the frost and snow and becomes a clear de-icer which coats the ground and because it can work to temperatures as cold as – 20C, it doesn’t re-freeze meaning it doesn’t need to be re-applied as often as the rock salt does.
EcoGrit is a concentrate, so less product needs to be used and it can safely be used around plants, animals (and yes, children). The gritting product also has no COSHH restrictions, can be stored indefinitely in a dry place and still works when needed.
At EcoGrit we take pride that we don’t use urea in our product as most environmentally friendly de-icers contain or are 100% urea. If urea is used in large quantities, it can cause toxic algae blooms which are devastating to wildlife and animals (many countries have banned the use of urea as a de-icier), and the UK is looking to restrict the use
of this for farmers as urea is 47% nitrogen and used as a fertiliser.
EcoGrit is supplied in a variety of sizes
• A 1.2kg shaker which is ideal for keeping in vehicles to make sure staff are able to get to work. The containers are recyclable.
• A 5kg bucket complete with its own scoop for application. This size can easily be handled and applied by anyone. A handy size to be able to store near where it is needed. The bucket and lid are recyclable.
• A half-tonne bag with the product inside a plastic liner which is kept closed with a reusable zip tie to keep the product dry if kept outside.
• A one-tonne bag also with the product inside a plastic liner and a reusable zip tie to keep the product dry.
For more information and for purchases please visit www.ecogrit.co.uk
Alternatively, you can call +44 (0)800 193 6466 to set up a 30-day credit account.
• Biodegradable, wildlife and environmentally friendly (even if adopted for large-scale usage).
• No COSHH restrictions, safe to handle and store.
• Grass and plant friendly.
• Safe for children and animals.
• Works to temperatures of -20C.
• Doesn’t re-freeze.
• 80% less corrosive than rock salt.
• Concentrated – so less product is needed.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
More About Stakeholder
EcoGrit – eco-friendly grit for snow
At EcoGrit, our aim is to help protect our environment while offering customers “peace of mind” over the winter period.
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