Monday, April 15, 2024

Researchers want medical industry to reduce waste, reuse more devices


The battle against single-use plastics has gained momentum in recent years, as people become more aware of the lasting environmental implications of using plastic items only once before throwing them away. There is growing pressure on companies to come up with reusable alternatives and ways of sterilizing them properly, and on individuals to provide their own containers and bags whenever they shop.

The health care industry is not exempt from these pressures. While it might seem like a surprising target for reusables (safety and sterility must always be the top priority), the Association of Medical Device Reprocessors (AMDR) says that hospitals could go a long way toward reducing their carbon footprints by rejecting the current “linear economy” model that normalizes single-use and embracing reusability on a greater scale. 

A new study, published in the journal Health Affairs, found that medical device reprocessing could have profound environmental benefits.1 A hospital’s supply chain is responsible for approximately 80% of its emissions, and when hospitals have partnered with regulated reprocessors, it has led to meaningfulĀ improvements: “In 2018, medical device reprocessing diverted 15 million pounds of medical waste from landfills and saved healthcare institutions an estimated $470 million.” Read more…

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