Fluid Talk blog

Being responsible and smart with plastic

The use of plastic keeps on growing worldwide. According to Zero Waste France, global consumption of plastic has doubled since 2000 and could quadruple by 2050. Hospital waste may not be the first association when thinking about plastic waste, yet it represents significant volumes: Quebec on its own produces 5,000 tons of plastic waste a year, and 85% of that is not recycled.

Hospitals around the world are now looking at how to be smart with plastic and avoid increasing waste. Outstanding initiatives exist such as the Nordic Center for Sustainable Healthcare, which supports various projects including the Greenest Hospital in the World – a virtual institution that gathers best-in-class environmentally friendly solutions. In France, the CAHPP buying group promotes sustainable solutions to their hospital’s members through a 17-goal sustainable development commitment.

At Serres, we have been mastering plastic manufacturing for more than 45 years. Our expertise is founded on an integrated process that runs from research and development to highly automated production lines in our Finland-based sites. It is this rare know-how that has helped Serres become a leading player in the niche market of suction bags. We have provided healthcare professionals with high quality and safe solutions: we enjoy a failure rate of 1 out of a million bags produced. Nowadays, we have expanded our expertise further around suction, introducing value-adding equipment for fluid disposal, namely Serres Nemo.

Less plastic, lighter product

Having production in our own hands and understanding the process at hospitals means we have been able to directly create a positive influence on plastic waste. We have been smart with plastic from the start and developed suction bags that are made with significantly less plastic than comparable products in the category. It is an example of how sustainable actions start already with the design of a product and its high quality. Not only are Serres Suction Bags made with less plastic but they are also exceptionally durable and reliable.

Less plastic means that the suction bags are lighter in weight and also foldable. From an environmental standpoint, this leads to benefits across the product lifecycle. For one, up to four times more Serres Suction Bags fit into a standard Serres transport box than comparable products. This kind of smart packaging leads to 12 times less CO2 emissions from shipping – see our example of how we can lower healthcare’s carbon footprint from transportation. 

During fluid waste disposal, the positive environmental impact comes from reduced waste and less carbon being released. Being responsible with plastic also extends to Serres’ suction bags and canisters being completely PVC-free to avoid the release of toxic dioxins upon incineration.

We continue to use our plastic expertise and understanding of the healthcare process to further explore how we and healthcare professionals can be even more responsible and smart with plastic. In addition to influencing the environmental impact from plastic waste with product design and plastic-use, we develop solutions that increase the efficiency of processes around suction. Serres also follows and participates in research, currently in association with the Finnish JAMK University of Applied Sciences and their initiative. 

Smarter plastic use is one element of Serres’ ambition to create solutions made smart for the environment across the healthcare lifecycle.

Find out more about the Serres point of view on more sustainable healthcare.

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Stéphane Corp
Vice President, Global Sales and Marketing