Improve sustainability through innovative medical packag

An unavoidable material for biological and biohazardous sample packaging is single-use plastic. As it is widely implemented within its transportation and analysis, it continues to make sustainability goals difficult to obtain for testing laboratories.

With sample testing being a fundamental aspect of diagnosis, its consequential plastic use is causing additional laboratory waste and further plastic pollution. This poses the question, if plastic is a much-needed material, how are we best able to meet our sustainability goals within the lab?

It’s vital that we combat excessive plastic use through the implementation of mindful, sustainable sample packaging solutions that help to reduce excessive laboratory waste. With thoughtful application, small yet sustainable medical packaging amendments can significantly reduce your lab’s plastic footprint and overall landfill contributions. Creating a more environmentally friendly laboratory.

The fight between sustainability and safety
It’s no shock that plastic usage is extensive within both the healthcare and laboratory setting. Estimated to generate over 5.5 million tonnes of plastic waste each year, laboratories are a primary user of single-use plastic. It is the most common material used for Petri dishes, spreaders, tubes and vials to name a few. The same is true for any packaging required for sample transportation, with plastic as a stated material within regulatory transportation requirements for biological C samples.

Everyday lab supplies dependence on, and their formulation being a construct of, single-use plastic has meant that there is an overuse within many fields. This includes biological sample transportation and analysis.

Why is the industry so reluctant to change its plastic-using ways? The reality is, many healthcare and laboratory settings have a heavy reliance on single-use plastics for security purposes. It is the most opted-for material to ensure sanitary requirements and safety regulations are met; the sterility of single-use plastics is ensured as it eliminates any chances of contamination or corruption.

Given the sensitive nature of biohazardous materials, it’s unsurprising that many of these plastics are non-reusable or unrecyclable. But with the growing ambition for laboratories to reduce laboratory waste, it leaves us with one question – if we need to use plastic material within our processes, how can we still aim to improve our efforts toward a more sustainable future?

The importance of sustainable sample transport packaging
The underlying and fundamental step of sample analysis is, of course, its delivery. Because of this, one major way to champion sustainability within the testing lab setting is to assess your sample transportation methods.

To ensure your laboratory is utilising sustainable medical packaging methods, lab managers can ask themselves; why have we chosen our packaging solutions? How much waste are we producing as a result? And, most importantly, how can we improve our processes?

How to optimise lab sustainability through medical packaging
Security and sample safety is the reason that single-use plastics for biohazardous samples is currently unavoidable. Mindful practices, however, can be adhered to which can work towards individual labs efforts that improve sustainability:

Utilise a packaging provider that already prioritizes sustainability
It goes without saying that sustainability comes from the source. When implementing sustainability within the laboratory, a strategic partnership with a supplier with an established and proven ability to execute sufficiently sustainable solutions is necessary. Here, you’re able to take ownership of the type of materials used for your sample transportation needs, reducing excessive and recyclable waste from the get-go.

Innovation meets sustainability with AIC’s specialist engineering. Here, AIC can design, manufacture and deliver solutions from recyclable to compostable materials, providing custom, innovative packaging that promotes environmentally friendly practices and fits all sustainability needs.

Use customisable solutions to avoid oversized packaging
Utilising a provider that can provide a fully customisable solution is the best way to avoid the overuse of materials. With many companies using a provider based on cost-effectiveness, time to market, convenience, longevity, regulatory compliance or supplied quantity, they’re often left with a packaging solution that is negligible to the actual requirements of the packaging itself. Evidently leading to oversized, unreliable, and generic packaging.

AIC is reshaping custom medical packaging, including a vast, cost-effective product range that’s fully customizable to generate packaging solutions which meet the exact packaging requirements.

This enables us to provide sustainable medical packaging at the right size and the right dimensions. Don’t believe us? AIC can send a prototype of the solution to ensure the packaging is exactly as needed whilst being a more sustainable alternative. Don’t forget to contact us to see for yourself!

Be mindful of the realistic amount of plastic consumed in a package
It goes without saying that if you need to use plastic within your material, you should absolutely be mindful of the amount of plastic you actually need. Careless plastic consumption is evident within the current market, with many current medical packaging available that utilises excessive plastic use.

AIC’s secondary packaging solution was designed to combat this issue. Boasting an average plastic reduction of up to 73% with their secondary sample packaging solution, meaning that a simple switch in packaging could greatly improve your environmental impact as you work towards your sustainability goals.

Take a look below at the comparison in plastic use from our SPECIMEN BAG solutions to other competitors on the market:

A sustainability strategy in a testing lab should account for medical packaging improvements
As attention is being drawn to excessive laboratory waste and the impact that has on the environment, labs are embedding facility-wide strategies to account various aspects of sustainable practices, with medical packaging just one of many areas in which a lab must focus on.

As the transportation of samples is an undeniable contributor to a testing lab’s carbon and plastic footprint, auditing and implementing a more environmentally-friendly packaging solution is a great way to reduce your overall laboratory waste and plastic consumption.

Looking to implement sustainable medical packaging for your laboratory testing services? Get in touch to find out how AIC can help you on your sustainability journey today.

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