Plastics specialist Symphony Environmental Technologies plc has registered its Sanafor PO-5 antimicrobial masterbatch with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

The British company said on Thursday that Sanafor can be included in the production process for plastic products in the automotive, industrial, healthcare, catering, textiles, footwear and home and leisure sectors. Its applications include food storage containers and chopping boards, toilet seats, appliances, building materials and other products where antimicrobial protection is needed.

According to Symphony, Sanafor is easily added during the manufacturing process and has no impact on the strength or durability of the plastic.

Sanafor was developed by Belgium-based Janssen PMP, experts in antimicrobial formulations, and was introduced into plastics by Symphony. It is part of the firm's d2p antimicrobial range of masterbatches and additives, which was developed to resolve issues relating to most types of bacteria, as well as algae, mould, mildew, yeast and some viral strains, in a diverse range of product applications.

Symphony also announced the launch of what it claimed was the world's first antimicrobial "bag for life" with Sanafor inside.

While many jurisdictions are encouraging the use of thicker shopping bags which can be reused many times, the company highlighted the fact that these bags are rarely cleaned or disinfected inside. It said that Sanafor antimicrobial technology can improve surface hygiene and help prevent the build-up of germs.