Life Cycle Analysis research finds that reusable cleanroom coveralls provide a significant environmental improvement

Choosing for sustainability with reuseable textiles (USA)

A new study coordinated by the American Reusable Textile Association (ARTA) has confirmed that reusable surgical drapes have significant environmental advantages over their disposable counterparts.

Specifically, the results of the new Lifecycle Analysis (LCA) conducted for ARTA by the consulting firm Environmental Clarity underscored the significant advantages of reusable surgical drapes over the disposable variety, including:

  • A 38% smaller carbon footprint
  • A 38% savings on energy
  • An 80% reduction in solid waste
  • A 60% savings on transportation costs

Additional figures on savings of water will be announced shortly, according to ARTA.

The study findings were first outlined during a presentation at ARTA’s July 25-27 Educational Conference in Ottawa, Canada. The LCA concluded that the selection of reusable surgical drapes could result in significant environmental benefits, as opposed to the use of disposable drape systems.

Separately, ARTA recently confirmed that its previous LCA on reusable vs. disposable isolation gowns, which demonstrated the environmental benefits of this type of reusable garment, has appeared in a peer-reviewed journal, the American Journal of Infection Control. This magazine is the official publication of the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC).