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That's A Wrap

Picture2According to the US Environmental Protection Agency, approximately 19% of the waste stream generated by surgical services is blue sterilization wrap (blue wrap). Made of polypropylene (plastic #5), a polymer with good resistance to chemicals and wear, blue wrap is used in hospitals to protect medical devices and surgical instruments from contamination. It is not reusable, as the material does not withstand the sterilization process between uses.

Approximately 70,000 pounds of blue wrap passes through our medical center each year and despite our best efforts to recycle the material, it mostly ends up in landfills.

The magnitude of this issue is greater than most people realize. Potentially hundreds of millions of pounds of blue wrap are consumed and discarded annually in the US. Considering that it is a clean, homogenous waste stream that is 100% polypropylene, one would think that recyclers would be highly engaged in collecting it. The truth of the matter is that there are several economic, logistical, and infrastructure related obstacles that must be overcome in order to recycle it successfully. In the meantime, there is another option: upcycling or more elegantly stated - creative reuse. 

Our 2019 holiday gift lantern from Mark Sparta & The Executive Team was accompanied by a bag made from 100% post-consumer recycled blue wrap, a wonderful testament to our commitment to reduce our environmental impact.

Many thanks to the local high school students and teachers and our team members, volunteers and interns for all they Picture8have crafted out of the blue over the years. Check out the photos and share your creative reuse ideas at That’s a wrap!

See more of our Blue Wrap Creations


Sources: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, The Circular Blu Blog

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