Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Single-Use Tech: Four Facts to Impress Your Colleagues

This post was authored by Mike Madarasz of the Institute for International Research.  You can follow him on Twitter at @MikeMadarasz

The verdict is on the environmental effects of single-use technology in comparison to stainless steel.  We now have a good grasp on this topic and all signs point to single-use systems impacting the surrounding environment to a much lesser extent than re-useable technologies.  BioProcess International recently took a close look at some of the sustainability issues associated with single-use processes.  Here are four facts you can use to impress your colleagues the next time this conversation comes up:

·       -  A single-use technology facility uses about 50% less energy than one based in stainless steel.  This is largely due to the amount of energy required to heat processed water in sterilizing reusable equipment. 

·      -  Some studies suggest that adopting a single-use system results in a reduction of about 85% of both water usage and waste generation from that of stainless steel.

·      -  One study shows that energy demand and global warming potential with single-use systems is 30-35% lower than stainless steel systems over the full manufacturing life of the facility.

·      -  As far the different types of environmental impacts associated with single-use, 22 different categories have been identified. 

How can single-use technology become improve on its environmental impact? One idea is to reduce the impact of disposable plastic containers used in these processes. The most common solution there appears to be finding ways to repurpose and recycle that plastic rather than letting it amount to waste.

Any other ideas on improving sustainability?

You can check out the full article from BPI here.

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