Eastman has announced an agreement with Ethicon, a Johnson & Johnson MedTech Company, to source Eastman Renew materials for its medical device sterile-barrier packaging. This is an important step to help reduce waste in the healthcare system and contribute to a more circular future. With this agreement, Ethicon becomes the first healthcare company to use medical-grade Eastman Renew materials in its product packaging.
“The companies worked closely to chart a path toward creating a more circular future for packaging of medical devices, driving landfill diversion and reducing carbon emissions,” said Scott Ballard, Eastman plastics division president. “With our molecular recycling technologies, we can improve the sustainability of products that have been the hallmark of safety and performance in healthcare for decades.”
Powered by Eastman’s innovative molecular recycling technologies, Ethicon will use Eastar™ Renew 6763 copolyester for its medical device sterile barrier packaging. Eastar Renew 6763 is indistinguishable from Eastar™ 6763 copolyester, with the same durability, safety and performance relied on by medical device companies for decades. The only difference is that by sourcing Eastar Renew, companies can certify that plastic waste is being diverted from landfills to produce new packaging. Through this agreement, the goal is to divert waste volume equal to 25% of the weight of total packaging produced — with the potential to increase up to 50% by the end of 2023. This commitment is backed by Ethicon’s ISCC PLUS certification, awarded by the International Sustainability & Carbon Certification (ISCC), which traces sustainable sourcing of feedstock.
This is an important first step toward achieving circularity for healthcare packaging. Strategic collaborations like this will help drive change in the industry, leveraging molecular recycling to increase recycling rates and catalyze a circular economy for healthcare.
Eastman’s molecular recycling technologies hold great promise for helping healthcare companies increase their sustainability profiles. Using mechanically recycled materials in healthcare applications is not possible due to stringent purity and transparency requirements. Eastman’s molecular recycling technologies offer a path toward reducing plastic waste for the industry. By breaking down waste to its molecular building blocks, which are indistinguishable from virgin materials, they can be used to create high-performance polymers suitable for the medical industry. And because these technologies source plastic waste as feedstock, they leave fossil resources in the ground and result in lower greenhouse gas emissions.