In light of growing concern over the accumulation of single-use and disposable products, new recycling solutions have emerged. MilliporeSigma’s Biopharma Recycling Program uses a process from waste management company Triumvirate Environmental to recycle “bioreactor, buffer and sampling bags (multilayered films), and assemblies and filters,” says Jacqueline Ignacio, global manager, customer sustainability solutions at MilliporeSigma.
As part of our employee spotlight series, we’re sitting down with Jacqueline Ignacio, global manager, customer sustainability solutions at MilliporeSigma, to learn more about the work she’s doing to change the way the life science industry looks at waste. The life science business of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany operates as MilliporeSigma in the U.S. and Canada.
1. How did you get your start with MilliporeSigma?
As single-use technology becomes mainstream, biopharma companies need a better way to handle waste
MilliporeSigma estimates that a single biopharma site produces about 12.5 tons waste per month that is eligible for recycling. As a leading supplier of single-use biopharmaceutical products, including single-use bags, tubing, connectors and filters, MilliporeSigma recognizes the need to reduce the environmental impact of its products.
In 2015, MilliporeSigma launched an exclusive partnership with Triumvirate Environmental in order to enable bioprocess manufacturing customers to fully recycle plastic single-use and disposable products.
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.
MilliporeSigma is urging industry to recycle single-use technologies, which can be made into speed bumps, parking bollards, and plastic palettes.
By Flora Southey
The Biopharma Single-use Product Recycling Program - a collaboration between MilliporeSigma and Triumvirate Environmental - collects, shreds, sterillises and recycles disposable plastics for the biopharmaceutical industry.
The program has facilitated the recycling of single-use bags, tubing and connectors, and cartridge and capsule filters at Triumvirate's plant in Pennsylvania since 2015.