Many of the products we supply to our Life Science customers are used only once and then discarded. This is necessary in certain cases to minimize the risk of contamination and is thus common practice within the industry. Moreover, this approach helps reduce costs as our customers don’t have to clean disposable products, thereby saving time and resources such as energy and water. However, these products do consume a great deal of material, so we’ve put recycling programs in place to help our customers properly dispose of and recycle our products and packaging.
Our Design for Sustainability program
Our Design for Sustainability (DfS) program encourages our Life Science business sector to design products with reduced life cycle impacts. This process focuses on utilizing recyclable or reusable materials that can be easily recovered or separated. Through DfS, we are continuously working to reduce the ecological footprint of our products and make disposal as easy as possible for our customers.
Recycling program updated
In cooperation with Triumvirate Environmental, a waste-management company based in Massachusetts (USA), we launched a comprehensive recycling program at the beginning of 2015 to serve our Life Science customers in the United States. Under this initiative, product waste from their research labs and biopharmaceutical manufacturing operations is collected, sanitized and recycled into plastic lumber. This material can be used in many industries, such as construction, landscaping, transportation, and marine construction. The program includes our Biopharma Recycling and Ech2o Collection and Recycling Programs.
We are continuing to expand this program throughout the United States and are exploring options for extension to other regions such as Europe and Asia. Since the program is dependent on the technology provided by Triumvirate, we would require new processing plants, as well as licenses, transportation and trained personnel in the respective regions.
Triumvirate’s innovative process enables the recycling of biohazardous waste that contains multiple types of plastic and other materials. Our partner has developed a sterilization and shredding component that is combined with an extrusion process to make multiple plastic lumber products. Since launching the program, we have recycled 1,347 metric tons of waste generated from the use of our products, with 901 metric tons in 2017 alone. The program now serves 11 customers, almost twice as many as in 2016.