High School Essay Cleans Up
Written by John Freer on November 28, 2022
By John Freer
Coming across a world changing moment that was inspired by a Thames High School essay, is worth talking about.
The essay, written 23 years ago, outlined the issues with plastic packaging and actions needed to overcome the threat of the world potentially drowning in plastic.
Author of the essay was a local Thames student, Mark Sorsensen, who besides getting 20 out of 20 for the essay, has now put his then theory into practice.
With his wife Ellie, Mark has established cleaning and personal care products now being produced having eliminated single use plastic bottles. And because the products are produced in a powder form, they have significantly reduced global transport impacts and costs.
Their company is Cleanery – and it has been producing the “super clean, super green” range since early 2020.
The concept is simple – drop the fluids, these replaced with powders, do away with single use plastics bottles, instead use multi-use bottles.
But, as Mark told CFM this week, the science behind the shift was not so easy. He describes amassing a team of world class experts to both develop the product range and get it to market. This all happens at their Auckland plant.
Mark Sorensen and wife and business partner Ellie
“With cleaning our products deliver maximum performance with minimum harm to the environment. Powder is a better option than tablets and liquid concentrates,” said Mark.
He said the sachets used for packaging are recyclable in soft plastic recycling schemes.
Since leaving Thames High School, Mark initially avoided university instead undertaking an engineering cadetship before heading to the United Kingdom and running his own consulting business for eight years.
His career has spanned engineering, business and technology advisor, investor, product and service development and he subsequently completed an MBA.
The company focus will remain on cleaning and personal care products, Mark being very aware of the size of the market in both New Zealand and Australia.
The Cleanery product lines are available at The Warehouse, some New Worlds and is in some selected Pak N Save outlets. The products are also available on-line.
“We need people to sample the product, once they do the response is always very favourable. Our products are widely used rurally where people rely on septic tanks and the like.”
Back to the school essay – it had been kept by Mark’s mother, he thinks because of the 20 out of 20 score. When asked if she was hiding any other gems – he said he had better ask.
CFM Interviewed Mark – please have a listen.