Surgical Innovations have been leading the way in the reduction of plastic disposal since 1992.
Increasingly large volumes of clinical waste are being incinerated by hospitals each year, a large percentage of this waste is from plastic materials. Hospitals are constantly under pressure to achieve cost savings and make improvements.
The innovative design of Surgical Innovations Resposable™ product ranges provide a high quality reusable instrument with the clinical benefits of a small disposable element. Providing the solution for Hospitals looking to reduce costs and waste whilst maintaining reliability and quality.
Disposing of a small item dramatically reduces the volume of waste and cost of disposal for the Hospital. The recurring cost of the small disposable element is also much less than a fully disposable device, providing two cost saving benefits.
*We have produced a white paper which considers the role of fully disposable plastic instruments and the considerable issue of plastic waste in the Operating Theatre and examines the benefits of Resposable™ medical devices as an alternative.
We also examine the consequential CO2 emissions of Operating Theatre waste management to provide a comparison aiding key decision-makers in the NHS and private healthcare.
A few points of interest:
« The NHS in England is responsible for around 20 million tonnes of Carbon Dioxide emissions annually and spends more than £50 million on Carbon Permits every year. (1)
« Although Operating Theatres physically occupy a relatively small area in hospitals, they generate a disproportionate amount of waste. In the US, it is estimated that 20%-33% of all hospital waste is generated by the operating theatres and a single operation can generate more waste than a family of four produces in one week. (2,3)
« Carbon Dioxide emissions attributable to the NHS are greater than all of the aircraft departing from London’s Heathrow Airport. (1)
Management of waste in the Operating Theatre is a multifactorial task which should be managed around the 4 R’s (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle – Resposable™). Many of the solutions are simple – the provision of recycling bins in the OR suite so that cardboard packaging and paper IFU’s can be recycled easily. Others are much more difficult – reducing the amount of plastic waste in many operations requires a root-and-branch rethink by product manufacturers to dramatically reduce the amount of packaging and the volume of plastic used in instrumentation.
In our example of the Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy, a typical fully disposable kit used in many hospitals all over the world weighs 713g. A kit comprising Resposable™ instruments weighs 82g. A difference of 631g.
There are over 70,000 Cholecystectomies performed in the UK every year. If every case was converted to using Resposable™ instruments, this would represent a reduction of over 44,000kg of plastic waste per year.
If a surgical instrument is equally effective, costs less than what is currently used and has the crucial benefit of dramatically reducing the CO2 footprint, then we are urging our NHS Hospitals to prioritise the consideration of this change.
*Contact our UK subsidiary, Elemental Healthcare Ltd to read the full white paper and find out how to begin to reduce plastic waste in operating theatres by 83%.
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