Making medical products sustainable

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Creating a sustainable packaging solution for medical products was the goal that ERBA Diagnostics Mannheim and AR Packaging Graz set themselves for the new ISE-Analyzer EC Cartridge.

The main structure of the packaging is made of stable fresh fibre paperboard, and therefore does not require any additional packaging. Moreover, it is designed with easy recyclability in mind. This concept has already proven to be innovative: It recently won the German Packaging Award in the Sustainability category. The ISE-Analyzer EC Cartridge was developed by ERBA Diagnostics Mannheim, a subsidiary of the ERBA Group.

One concept – much to consider

"The biggest challenge for our design team were the special requirements that the complex design of this medical product  entailed for its packaging," explain Heinz Steinkellner and Mario Rassi, packaging designers at AR Packaging Graz. "Conventional medical products use plastic containers to operate diagnostic devices. New approaches attempt to combine reagents in one container, but this can lead to complex technical solutions with high packaging material input. However, our approach of using paperboard instead of plastic for the essential parts of the reagent containers, drives sustainability". 

In addition, a smart interior structure also made of paperboard was developed. This divides the box into segments, adapts to the changing container volumes during the use life, and supports and stabilises the reagent pouches installed inside. "The EC Cartridge is also used for the liquid biological waste after the use of the medical product. The disposal of this medical hazardous waste is therefore easier and much more sustainable using paperboard," the two packaging designers clarify. 

Sustainability is also evident in the choice of materials

To realise this ambitious project, the design team chose board grade MetsäBoard Pro FBB Bright for the outer packaging, The board grade provides exceptional brightness, which ensures excellent printability and high rigidity of the packaging. 

In addition to the German Packaging Award, the ISE-Analyzer EC Cartridge also recently won the public award of the Carton Austria Awards. "We are very proud to have been awarded this prize. It is further recognition of this great, sustainable concept," says Mario Rassi of AR Packaging Graz.

Source: Metsä Board