News & Analysis

Smartphones are dirtier than public toilets; Parx Plastics launches solution

- May 20, 2015 2 MIN READ

Here’s your disturbing fact of the day: the surface of your smartphone contains up to 18 times more bacteria than a public toilet, according to Dr Simon Park, senior lecturer in molecular biology at the University of Surrey.

Given most of us are simply unable to keep our hands off our phones – perhaps even taking them with us into the bathroom – that’s a lot of bacteria that we’re touching every day. A company has come up with a solution. European company Parx Plastics has created an anti-microbial iPhone case that claims to clean 99 percent of E. Coli and Staph bacteria on a phone within 24 hours.


Germs on smartphones. Credit: Dr Simon Park.

Parx Plastics, which is based in the Netherlands with research facilities in Bologna, Italy, has applied its biocompatible technology to plastics to create phone cases that are eco-friendly. The cases use the dietary element zinc, rather than pesticides, silver, or other harmful chemicals.

The cases work through via a treatment process that is applied to a plastic produced by Eastman Chemical, with the cases then molded by Italian company Italstamp.

Though the company states it can’t say the cases will help reduce a customer’s chances of getting the flu, for example, it states the product will protect the surface of the phone and keep it clean.

Parx Plastics CTO Michele Fiori said, “The technology is fully biocompatible, it is not toxic, and it does not leach out of the materials and yet it kills 99 percent of the bacteria and micro organisms that are on the surface of a product within 24 hours. The technology is really what the market is desperately looking for, since today’s available solutions are being more and more restricted and are proved to have harmful effects on humans and the environment.”

DrParx Aqua

Dr Parx Aqua


Parx is a rising star in Europe; the company was named one of Europe’s top tech startups by the European Commission, and is also collaborating with Fortune 500 companies to develop applications for food packaging, implants, and medical devices.

The company has decided to launch a Kickstarter to help get the phone cases off the ground.

CEO Michaël van der Jagt said, “It is great to be at the table with large organisations, but all these companies have one thing in common: their processes are pretty slow. And we are eager to get our technology out in the market, in the hands of the customers.”