Trending: New Plant-Based Solutions for Non-Recyclable Health, Home Products

While there’s plenty of discussion surrounding single-use plastics — namely straws, water bottles, food packaging, coffee stirrers, etc. — the topic of disposable needle counters doesn’t typically enter into the conversation. But with hospitals across the US generating more than 12,000 tons of waste per day — 30 percent of which come from operating rooms — reducing the use of non-renewable plastics in healthcare is imperative. NewGen Surgical, Inc.’s new plant-based surgical needle counters have the potential to drive industry-wide change, helping O.R.’s across the country dispose of used surgical sharps in a safe and sustainable way.

“Our customers have asked us to help them green their O.R. with single-use disposable products that create less plastic waste,” said Rob Chase, Founder and President of NewGen Surgical. “We are excited to offer a needle counter with the outer box achieving a 95 percent reduction of plastic waste, by weight, headed to landfills.”

“All plastic waste affects human health. There is no ‘away’ when it comes to plastic waste in our environment,” added Dr. Ann Blake, Founder and Principal of Environmental and Public Health Consulting. “Traditional surgical needle counter boxes are produced with high-impact polystyrene (HIPS) plastic. Because the material was used as a medical device, it is not a candidate to be recycled and not readily biodegradable in a landfill. If incinerated, polystyrene produces a complex mixture of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, shown to have negative impacts on public health.”

The NewGen Surgical Needle Counters have a direct and measurable impact on reducing plastic waste. If a hospital converts to NewGen’s needle counters, it can reduce O.R. plastic waste by 1,000 lbs. for every 12,500 needle counters used. According to Ken Blier, NewGen’s Principal Engineer, the needle counters use the same sustainable feedstock as the company’s skin stapler line.

The NewGen Surgical Needle Counters are available in a range of foam and magnet combinations, a full-surface magnet for oddly shaped sharps, adhesive tabs to secure the needle counter to any workspace, is latex free and features a secure closure latch with audible feedback. The initial needle counter product family includes 40 count foam/magnet, 60 count double magnet and 80 count double foam configurations; single sterile or bulk, non-sterile for surgical procedure packs.