Assessing the Burden of Packaging and Recyclability of Single-Use Products in Interventional Radiology

Warren Clements, Jane Chow, Caroline Corish, Victor D. Tang, Conor Houlihan

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Purpose: With a shift to single-use products in Interventional Radiology (IR) centres for sterility and cost reasons, it is prudent to consider the burden of packaging and employ efforts to assess and reduce waste, as well as promote recycling wherever possible. This study aimed to quantify the amount of waste in IR packaging and what proportion is recyclable. Materials and methods: A range of IR products were weighed using mass scales. Products were assessed for total weight, overall waste, and potentially recyclable waste. Waste was defined as any packaging which was not considered vital to the product to perform its duty and thus was for packaging or shipping purposes. Products were pooled into one of the following categories: catheters and sheaths, wires, needles, devices, coils, and packs/ancillary. Results: Seventy-two different products were collected from 26 manufacturers to represent a range of items. The weight of all products was 12466 grams (median 51, range 2-1600) and weight of waste was 6830.7 grams (median 34, range 1.1-732). The weight of recyclable waste was 5202.2 grams (median 11.5, range 0-701). There was median 2 waste packages per item (range 1-5). The proportion of waste of the overall weight was 54.8% and of this, 76% of all waste was potentially recyclable. Conclusion: There is a significant burden of waste in manufactured IR products and while a high proportion is recyclable, we encourage manufacturers of IR products and devices to consider alternative means of transport and packaging of products which will reduce the overall waste burden.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)910-915
Number of pages6
JournalCardioVascular and Interventional Radiology
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Angiography
  • Interventional Radiology
  • Packaging
  • Recycling
  • Waste

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