Cutting CO2 emissions in healthcare with a clinical waste container from biocomposites

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A new product is making a big difference for the health sector. FrostPharma and Mälarplast have in collaboration with Stora Enso developed a new hazardous waste container, from biocomposites.

The new version cuts emissions by more than 50% compared to the solution made from conventional plastics.

The waste containers take care of hazardous waste arising from medical, veterinary, laboratory and dental procedures and are required to be incinerated after usage to ensure the safety of disposal, minimizing the risk of anyone coming in contact with the risk waste.

The same type of waste container is used all over Europe, with harmonized safety standards and rules for handling. One of these rules is the requirement to burn the containers after usage. This means millions of burnt containers, contributing to significant CO2 emissions which in turn is a problem for the European health sector as they are looking to be more sustainable.

Introducing a new container – cutting emissions by more than 50%

FrostPharma has together with Mälarplast, and in collaboration with Stora Enso, developed a range of new hazardous waste containers consisting of a renewable material, biocomposites. A material made of Nordic wood fibers and bio-based PP.

“The product line is called WoodSafe®, and it consists of seven containers in different sizes. They are already in use, the results are great, and it’s been well received by the market,” says Peter Wall CEO Mälarplast.

A life cycle assessment performed by an independent party looked at WoodSafe® waste container’s environmental impact and compared the material to the most common alternatives available in the market. It showed that by using a WoodSafe® container you can lower the CO2 emissions by up to 66% compared to when using a container from virgin plastic.

“Our mission was to lower the carbon footprint from the healthcare sector and create a sustainable, yet safe, alternative to today’s products,” says Henrik Alfredsson from FrostPharma.

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The result is WoodSafe®, manufactured in Sweden with renewable raw materials. The containers are easy to implement as they have the same sizes and the same handling as the ones traditionally used.

Clinical waste containers are the 3rd biggest source of plastic waste in the healthcare sector. Danderyd’s Hospital in Sweden is one hospital who identified the impact a switch to WoodSafe waste containers can make.

“This new product reduces our climate impact. The only difference from the old waste container is that it smells like wood. Otherwise, no difference, they are great and easy to work with,” says Johanna Albert, Anesthesiologist, Danderyd’s Hospital.

WoodSafe® products are approved according to UN3291, ISO23907 and ADR.

Source: Stora Enso