26. Apr 2023
Recently, Wellspect HealthCare, a MedTech business in Mölndal, Sweden, announced the introduction of bio-attributed raw materials into one of its products; a female urinary catheter with the name LoFric Elle.
In an industry that is heavily reliant on fossil based raw materials for its plastic, the announcement raises the stakes for medical device manufacturers.
“Finding more sustainable raw material sources to produce medical plastic devices is a gamechanger. By replacing fossil raw materials with biobased raw materials, we reduce the end products’ environmental footprint without jeopardizing the product’s clinical performance”, says Svenn Poulsen, Group Vice President at Wellspect HealthCare.
The original LoFric Elle catheter, launched in 2019, was manufactured solely from conventional fossil based raw material sources. Wellspect says that using the new bioplastic in its product has cut the carbon footprint by 55 % compared to the original product. The company is using a mass-balance approach to allocate the biobased raw materials and to ascertain the same medical grade quality for the plastic.
Over the past couple of years, Wellspect has been scrutinizing its material sources, introducing more sustainable options where such are feasible. Cooperation across the supply chain has been crucial says Wellspect, crediting suppliers LyondellBasell (Rotterdam, the Netherlands) and Neste (Espoo, Finland), frontrunners in renewable plastics solutions, for its break-through.
Replacing fossil with bio-attributed materials is just one part of Wellspect's road map to net-zero. The MedTech company, which has a vision of becoming a sustainability leader in its industry, is undertaking hefty investments to speed up its transition towards more responsible production and to meet its emission reduction targets.
“As businesses, we must deploy the available technologies at the pace and scale required to meet our climate goals. We must also leverage our supply chain to explore more environmentally responsible sourcing. That is how we can make a real difference”, concludes Svenn. AT