Every day, tons of healthcare waste are produced worldwide, aggravating the health of our planet. Combined with new forms of waste related to the pandemic, this reality is seriously compromising the quality of living beings.
As responsible for this, we must act to change it. We must move towards a Circular Economy – renew, remake, share – instead of a linear economy – take, make, dispose.
New design strategies can be adopted to implement Circular Economy in the healthcare
Servitization is an important strategy in the implementation of a Circular Economy, transforming all aspects, from design to delivery, transportation and recycling.10
Due to Healthcare-associated infections, lower costs of acquisition, and no reprocessing, a recent trend toward the use of single-use MD has been observed.11 However, this strategy of single-use is not in line with a Circular Economy. Alternative reprocessing methods, namely low temperature instead of steam, could improve efficiency.12
Unsolved issues related to externalization of medical device reprocessing with its pros and cons do require a judicious evaluation through Health Technology Assessments.13
To that end, we are proud to be focusing on the role of Medical Device reprocessing as a circular economy solution.
During the first webinar, Lindsey Wuisan (MSc, NL/PT) will kick-off the series by giving a general overview of Circular Economy (CE) and the opportunities for the healthcare sector. The presentation will start with the environmental imperative and an introduction to the concept and main principles. Furthermore, key strategies to implement CE in practice will be presented as well as the opportunities (and risks) for the healthcare sector. Lastly, inspiring examples of circular initiatives in the healthcare sector will be shared.
SAVE THE DATE: 25th of May
1. Pichler P, Jaccard IS, Weisz U, Weisz H. International comparison of health care carbon footprints. Environ Res Lett. 14(6):064004. 7.
2. Health Care Without Harm, Arup. Health care’s climate footprint. Health Care Without Harm; 2019.
3. Global analysis of healthcare waste in the context of COVID-19: status, impacts and recommendations. Geneva: World Health Organization; 2022. License: (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 IGO).
4. Benson NU, Bassey DE, Palanisami T. COVID pollution: impact of COVID-19 pandemic on global plastic waste footprint. Heliyon. 7(2):e06343.
6. BMJ 2021;375:n2734 http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.n2734
8. WHO Europe. Circular Economy and Health: opportunities and risks. Geneva, 2018.
9. G.M. Kane, C.A. Bakker, A.R. Balkenende. Towards design strategies for circular medical products. Resources, Conservation and Recycling, Volume 135, 2018, Pages 38-47, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.resconrec.2017.07.030)
10. Andrea J. MacNeill, et al. Transforming The Medical Device Industry: Road Map To A Circular Economy. Health Affairs, doi.org/10.1377/hlthaff.2020.01118
11. Ciocîrlan M. (2019). Low-cost disposable endoscope: pros and cons. Endoscopy international open, 7(9), E1184–E1186. https://doi.org/10.1055/a-0959-6003
12. McCreanor, V., & Graves, N. (2017). An economic analysis of the benefits of sterilizing medical instruments in low-temperature systems instead of steam. American journal of infection control, 45(7), 756–760. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ajic.2017.02.026
13. HTA 101: Introduction to Health Technology Assessment. https://www.nlm.nih.gov/nichsr/hta101/ta10103.html