We all try and make sustainable choices these days. But when performing everyday tasks like washing your hands or rinsing a plate, do you think about the environmental impact of the tap you are using?
Most taps get that shiny metallic finish using a plating process known as hexavalent chromium plating or Cr6 for short. But, Cr6 is a silent killer. The EU bans it because it’s a known carcinogen linked to lung cancer in those producing it. Most tap production is done in China, where health and safety are not exactly top of the agenda. 99.9% of taps in the UK are Cr6 plated. 
There is a tremendous amount of legacy products in Cr6, so it will take UK tap brands years to find new suppliers who can plate in Cr3 at similar prices and transition their existing range. The plating looks almost identical, so who will pay for this change? The manufacturers, the brands, the retailers, the consumers, all of the above? 
Currently, we have a conspiracy of silence.
“Don’t tell anyone this is a problem, and we don’t have to change.”
However, a more sustainable alternative plating process is called trivalent or Cr3+.
Cr3+ has only 1% of the toxicity and produces much less energy. 
Like many companies, we recognise that we have a legal and moral obligation to act in addressing the environmental impact of our operations. So,18 months ago, we started looking for a sustainable tap. Not only one that was not made from Cr6 but a tap that would also have a water-conserving function and be energy efficient.
There wasn’t any.
A water label scheme operates in the bathroom industry to grade products on their water consumption and energy usage and to outline any sustainable features. But, it’s a voluntary, not mandatory, scheme, so brands do not want to highlight the products that are not efficient when they don’t have to. (shhh, don’t tell anyone). 
Most modern taps are mixer or mono-block taps where hot and cold water is delivered from a single spout. When the lever is activated in the middle position, warm water is produced, which means that your boiler and any circulation pumps will come on and utilise energy. But most of the time, it’s cold water we want for washing hands, brushing our teeth, cleaning, or drinking, so we are using energy that is not needed.
An eco-start function can save around 500 kW of energy, reduce carbon emissions by 23kg, and save around £50 a year in energy costs. As with CR3 and the water label, if you are unaware this is a problem, you won’t ever seek to solve it. This is the conspiracy of silence.
So that’s why we’ve introduced Chrome 3+ plated taps, adhering to the Unified Water Label, with an eco-start function to save unnecessary energy and cost. It’s time to stop being silent!