Sartorius, a supplier of bioprocessing and laboratory equipment, announced last week that it had become the first company in its sector to sign the European Plastics Pact.
The pact sees the signatories share knowledge, develop new techniques and harmonize guidelines to improve the use of plastics.
The stated aims of the pact are:
- Reusability and recyclability
- Plastic packaging will be designed to be reusable where possible and in any case recyclable. The design of functional single-use plastic products will focus on recyclability as far as possible
- Responsible use of plastics
- Virgin plastic materials will be reduced
- Collection, sorting and recycling
- The recycling rate will be increased by collection and sorting
- Use of recycled plastics
- Recycled plastics will be used for packages and products whenever possible and appropriate
For Sartorius’ business, the primary focus of its own efforts will be single-use plastic products, which is rapidly becoming the industry standard.
Single-use products have been described as being more sustainable than comparable reusable products, such as stainless-steel equipment, due to the ecological burden of cleaning and sterilizing the latter.
Despite this, the use of single-use plastic in the biopharma industry still represents 0.01% of the total volume of plastic waste.
“We see potential to reduce the use of natural resources in this area. Materials and material flows designed for recycling will play a key role in this context,” said Sartorius CEO, Joachim Kreuzburg.
Sartorius previously told us that recycling the plastic would be a ‘demanding’ challenge, but is now one the company is looking into.