Roberta Charlett examines the case for switching to reusable surgical textiles and the steps that will be required to successfully implement this.
The surgical textiles market has evolved significantly over the last two decades. Advances in technology and the introduction of highly engineered fabrics now mean that many of today’s reusable surgical textiles outperform disposable counterparts in terms of quality, fabric resistance and linting. However, we have also seen an increasing reliance on single-use equipment, with this thought to be responsible for up to 70 per cent of the carbon footprint of operating procedures.
Until recently, many of these disposable plastics have been regarded as necessary due to the fact they allow for easy maintenance of a sterile healthcare environment. With concerns around sustainability and the urgent need to reduce the reliance on such items, if the NHS is to achieve its zero carbon emissions, it is now essential that Trusts work together to adopt strategies to eliminate the use of such disposable products wherever possible and practical.
The disposable myth
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