From Single-Use to Re-Use
It is well known that single-use systems provide a variety of benefits to drug manufacturers, but the growth of single-use brings to mind the environmental impact that comes with this trend. Globally, we estimate that 30,000 tons of biopharma single-use products are disposed to landfill or incineration every year. Single-use systems are made primarily of plastic, and I think most people agree that plastic consumption should be reduced and recycling increased. In fact, the plastic used in single-use technologies is of excellent quality because it has limited or no additives.
In my role at MilliporeSigma (Global Manager of Customer Sustainability Solutions for MilliporeSigma’s Corporate Responsibility Team), I have been working to find innovative solutions to dispose of single-use plastic since 2013. The obvious solution was to recycle the plastic, but that isn’t quite as simple as it sounds.