How to reuse medical products sustainably
Increased reuse of consumable items, many of which are currently single use, is a vitally important step towards tackling climate change, plastic pollution and other environmental challenges. For many medical components and devices, safe reuse means products need to be cleaned and/or sterilised. While this seems a small price to pay to avoid having to potentially remanufacture the product from the ground up again, sterilisation can itself be associated with high carbon emissions as well. How can we know, therefore, if the benefits of reuse outweigh the carbon cost of sterilisation? How can sterilisation processes be developed to ensure they are as sustainable as possible?