Reducing medical packaging’s carbon footprint

     

    Many medical devices come wrapped in sterile packaging. As a result, hospitals are one of the biggest contributors to landfills in urban areas.

    Kevin Mulligan is a consultant who works to reduce the ecological impact of packaging. He says these improvements can also increase the bottom line.

    He uses his work with a catheter company as an example. Previously, the product was packaged in a rigid tray. Now it comes in a flexible, recyclable bag.

    “We really went through the packaging systems and changed the materials that were used,” Mulligan said. “And were able to reduce the size of the package by about 30%. It saved money for the manufacturer and it also significantly saved money for the hospitals. So there’s less waste going into the system.”

    Industry leaders, including Mulligan, will gather today in Philadelphia at the Pharmaceutical Packaging Leadership Summit to discuss future challenges and innovations.

    Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

    It will take 126,000 members this year for great news and programs to thrive. Help us get to 100% of the goal.