One million tons of clean plastic is generated by healthcare-related facilities each year - as stated by the Healthcare Plastics Recycling Council. Even though it isn't often mentioned as a source of pollution, the medical sector is also in need of more sustainable manufacturing processes.
Surgery instruments and medicine's packaging is one of the areas with the highest room for improvement. This article explains the matter in detail, would have you ever thought this was possible?
Thanks to the work of designers that care about the environmental impact of the medical sector, there have been several innovations that helped to reduce the material necessary to manufacture tools and also reducing the energy required in the production line.
Over the last few years, companies have also pivoted towards eco-friendly, recyclable materials instead of the chemical and complex ones that were used before.
Lia Diagnostics, a start-up based in Philadelphia, designed the world’s first flushable pregnancy test that works like a traditional OTC pregnancy test, but is made up of the same natural plant fibres as toilet paper breaking down when flushed. Isn't that great?
Origin, a healthcare packaging solutions designer, offers a wide range of packaging solutions for the needs of pharmaceutical companies and healthcare agencies. Origin has a dedicated NPD department, which is continually researching and developing new pharmaceutical packaging designs and healthcare devices. What will be the next new solution developed by Origin?
The medical sector is still quite plastic-heavy, but even though plastic has owned a bad name in the past few years, it is still the most sustainable solution when an antiseptic barrier is required. There are more possibilities to make the medical packages greener when it comes to nonsterile medical applications.
Furthermore, many companies adopt different solutions to implement transport strategies to lower energy and cost. More and more often medical device manufacturers are picking packaging partners that can provide end-to-end services. This means components don’t need to be transported between various phases of the process, reducing CO2 emissions and optimising planning.
Finally, education about proper recycling and reuse in this field also play an important role diverting more and more plastic back into the circular economy.
Let me know if you are aware of any other sustainable practices in the medical sector!