Reusables reduce GHG 65% when long-haul transport is required.
Two Californian colleagues and I had our Lifecycle Carbon Footprint study published today confirming a significant 65% reduction in greenhouse gases when disposable sharps bins were replaced with reusables and long transport distances impacted both systems.
The study was conducted over a two-year period at a large five-hospital system in Loma Linda CA.
An earlier GHG Chicago study found reusables reduced sharps waste stream GHG by 84%. However the study’s sensitivity analysis found transport distances impacted results significantly and suggested the study be repeated in a scenario where transport distances between manufacturer and hospital were large.
In the Loma Linda study, mfg-hospital distances were several thousand km and hospital-plant distances were several hundred km. Under these conditions the study concluded:
- Such distances lessen GHG differential between the systems
- Reusable achieved significant GHG reductions
- Transport & electricity cleanliness are key factors.
- Lifespan of reusables has minimal effect on carbon footprint.
- Procurement can significantly contribute to GHG strategies.
- Reusables reduced GHG with minimal staff behavior-change.