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Textiles Intelligence

Single-use medical nonwovens: the pros and cons

New report on the issue of single use medial nonwovens and their impact on the environment.

10th November 2023

Innovation in Textiles
 |  United Kingdom


Report summary

Single-use medical nonwovens are widely used in health care settings because they offer a number of advantages compared with reusable medical textiles. However, single-use medical nonwovens suffer a disadvantage in that they must be disposed of after use and such disposal can have an adverse impact on the environment.

The issue of single-use medical nonwovens is expected to be a focus of legislation in Europe under forthcoming EU regulations, and it is predicted that pressure will mount on hospitals in the EU to recycle single-use medical textiles or procure reusable and washable medical textiles. In the UK, Revolution-ZERO is supporting the adoption of reusable and washable medical textiles at NHS facilities and has recently installed an advanced laundry facility, called Zero-Decon, at a hospital in Wales.

There are several difficulties associated with recycling single-use medical textiles. In response, a number of pilot schemes for establishing circular supply chains have been launched. In Saudi Arabia, SABIC, a global chemicals company headquartered in Riyadh, continues to expand its Trucircle portfolio of polymers--which includes those made using bio-based waste and recycled polymers in the form of drop-in solutions--and it plans to increase its capacity for making Trucircle plastics to 1 mn tons by 2030.

In the UK, Thermal Compaction Group (TCG) has introduced its Sterimelt units at a handful of National Health Service (NHS) hospitals. These units are capable of processing waste surgical polypropylene wrap on-site into plastic bricks for conversion into products such as decking, fence posts and furniture.

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Publisher: Textiles Intelligence

'Single-use medical nonwovens: the pros and cons'

22 pages, published in October 2023 

Report price: Euro 470.00; US$ 615.00 

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