Bard endeavors to use the smallest viable package size to minimize material usage and therefore landfill footprint. We perform periodic reviews of product packaging to look for ways to increase recyclability and reduce package size, weight and complexity.
- Wherever applicable, recycle symbols are used on all components.
- We have focused on reducing board thickness and the amount of corrugated cardboard and paperboard.
- We have eliminated a “box within a box” where possible.
- We have migrated to uncoated Tyvek pouches, where possible, to reduce processing costs and eliminate the chemicals required for heat seal coating.
- We are replacing large, multiple-page user manuals with compact discs for some domestic product releases.
- We have applied origami techniques in suspension packaging to use paperboard or corrugated cardboard to replace large foam protective packaging that is difficult to break down.
Bard Brachytherapy Inc. (BBI) is an example of stewardship in this area. Recently, BBI was recognized by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for participating in the 2009 National Partnership for Environmental Priorities (NPEP) and achieving its lead-reduction goal. NPEP is a voluntary partnership program focused on reducing the use of potentially hazardous chemicals—such as lead and mercury—from products and processes.
BBI manufactures the iodine radioactive isotope seeds that are used in brachytherapy treatment. Typically, the industry uses lead shielding containers for transportation safety. BBI substituted these with stainless steel shielding containers, which not only maintain compliance with radiation protection standards, but reduce the disposal burden placed on customers.
The container substitution enabled BBI to reduce lead usage and recycle 5,363 pounds of lead, lower manufacturing costs and spur new efforts for other environmental sustainability initiatives and closed-loop systems. Customers saw a reduced hazardous waste management burden, and some were able to support their own environmental initiatives and goals.