GE Healthcare Polymer Bottle Cuts Waste Disposal Costs

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by | Nov 25, 2014

GE logoGE Healthcare says a study examining the environmental impact of its +PlusPak polymer bottle has superior environmental benefits compared to its glass counterparts.

Healthcare clinicians traditionally use glass bottles for storage, handling, and disposal of contrast imaging agents for X-ray and MRI procedures. Traditional glass bottles have challenges, as clinicians risk breakage and possible injuries, loss of product, cleanup needed upon breakage, as well as the cost of proper disposal after use.

GE’s life cycle assessment study compared the polymer bottle to traditional glass bottles, and showed that polymer bottles can provide the following advantages including:

  • End-of-life disposal: Polymer bottles in the US are most likely to be treated as municipal waste versus glass bottles, which must be disposed of in a sharps container followed by autoclaving and landfilling. The resources for disposing of the polymer bottle are less demanding.
  • Packaging and transport: Sensitivity to air freight, secondary packaging, and lower mass of the polymer bottles all contribute to fewer carbon emissions.

Insights from this study may suggest cost implications for radiology departments, as switching from glass packaging to GE Healthcare’s innovative +PlusPak polymer bottle could reduce contrast media related red-bag waste costs by as much as 78 percent.

Fifty-four percent of global health care professionals say their hospitals currently incorporate sustainability into purchasing decisions, and 80 percent expect that to be the case in two years, according to a September Harris Poll commissioned by Johnson & Johnson.

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