Sustainable Medical Device Packaging

by Todd McDonald on October 19, 2011

Cleaning your house, getting a coffee to go, or even taking home leftovers from your local restaurant. Chances are that while performing everyday tasks such as these, a product or package made from biodegradable plastics has made its way to your hands. But does the same hold true for the everyday tasks performed by medical professionals?

While at first glance, biodegradable plastics may appear to have a role in medical device packaging, at TEQ we strongly believe that would not be prudent.

ASTM D6400 standards, which help us define what it means for a plastic to be biodegradable, mandate that the degradation of such materials take 180 days or less in an industrial composting facility. Clearly using such materials would introduce the unacceptable risk of premature biodegradation of the sterile barrier packaging system during manufacture, sterilization or storage – compromising not only material safety but also adherence to FDA regulations as well as compliance with ISO standards regarding the integrity of medical device packaging.

For these reasons and more, at TEQ we believe that the most reasonable approach to sustainable medical packaging needs to be one of reducing the carbon footprint and focusing on recyclability – a task we take very seriously.

That’s precisely why we have aligned ourselves with some of the best experts in medical device packaging system design like Spartan Design Group, why we are one of the only thermoform manufacturers in the United States to hold the ISO 13485:2003 medical device quality management system registration, and why we continuously work to the ISO 11607 Standard, the foremost guidance document for validating packaging for terminally sterilized medical devices.

That’s our approach to sustainable medical packaging…what’s yours?

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Instrument Sterilization November 27, 2011 at 8:29 pm

I just wanted to say that I really enjoyed your site and this post. You make some very informative points. Keep up the great work!

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