Sustainability in Packaging
Clinician and patient needs drive our initial design of new products. As we go through the development process, we take into consideration any regulations that govern the use of certain materials and chemicals and assess the impact of the product and its packaging on the patient, the health care provider, and the environment.
A significant portion of our products’ environmental impacts occur later in their lifecycle after they have been sold to the customer. However, we can impact the product packaging that ends up in waste streams. Bard endeavors to use the smallest viable package size to minimize material usage. We perform periodic reviews of product packaging to look for ways to reduce package size, weight and complexity and increase recyclability. For example, we have:
- Focused on reducing board thickness and the amount of corrugated cardboard and paperboard;
- Eliminated a “box within a box” where possible;
- Migrated to uncoated Tyvek pouches, where possible, to eliminate the chemicals required for heat seal coating and reduce processing costs;
- Replaced large, multiple-page user manuals with digital versions for some U.S. product releases;
- Applied packaging techniques to use folded paperboard or corrugated cardboard instead of foam protective packaging; and
- Adopted the use of recyclable packaging materials where practical.
Recently, we redesigned our SureStep™ Foley Tray System to eliminate the
paperboard carton completely. The new single-level tray also reduced the footprint of each unit and resulted in a case size reduction in the corrugated shipper, enabling us to fit more cases on a sterilization pallet — reducing sterilization and corrugated costs.