life cycle assessment of disposable razors

Finally, the razors are packaged in cardboard and plastic, and shipped out to stores and markets globally for customers to purchase and use. Quantifying the Environmental Impacts of Labor. The designed short user-time of disposable razors, causes their life cycle to be spent mostly in the landfill where they will remain for hundreds of years due to non-biodegradable plastic, however, recycling the plastic and steel is possible if sent to specific recycling facilities, which could reduce the life cycle and negative impact on the environment. We purchase the product in a store, use the product for removing unwanted body and facial hair until it eventually dulls, and then we toss it in the bathroom trash, unaware of where it goes or where it came from. Razor blades dull quickly after repeated use, and are recommended to be used only three to ten times, making them a cheap alternative to reusable cartridges. To start the process of making the blades, tungsten carbide is melted at high temperatures. After getting the sharpened blade they are coated with a thin film to allows them to not lose sharpness after only a few shaves (Manufacturing Processes). Because of its high stability, PPO is a very widely used plastic for many different household items. Reusable LMAs in general appear to be made largely of silicone, lacking these same concerns for PVC/DEHP. LCA can be used to compare alternative products, processes or services; compare alternative life cycles for a certain product . LCA for product sustainability. You Asked, We Answered. Chronicle, 12 June 2015, Encyclopaedia Brittanica, Encyclopaedia Brittanica, Inc., 26 Sept. 2012, Teoh W, Lim Y. Polystyrene. Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 2 Dec. 2019, It can be used to study the environmental impact of either a product or the function the product is designed to perform. Materials were matched with appropriate life cycle inventory records from the ecoinvent database.11 Injection molding was assumed for the hard plastic pieces (polycarbonate and ABS plastic) and thermoforming for the softer plastics (silicone, polypropylene, and PVC). If the reusable LMA is discarded prematurely, e.g., after 20 uses,16 the unit cost increases to $13 per unit, but decreases to $5.50 if the lifetime can be extended to 80 uses. The product doesnt contain any material labels, so the materials have been assumed to be low alloy steel for the body, PP for the plastic parts of the body, EPDM rubber for the grip and an acrylic polymer coating for the lubricating band. After the products are packaged, there has to be a way for them to get to the end consumer. Scope of the life cycle assessment for disposable and reusable laryngeal mask airways (LMAs). Comparative environmental and human health (HH) impacts for disposable and reusable laryngeal mask airways (LMA), Building for Environmental and Economic Sustainability (BEES) impact assessment method. The environmental impacts of the 2 LMAs were estimated using SimaPro life cycle assessment software and the Building for Environmental and Economic Sustainability impact assessment method. A combination of transportation methods is used depending on where the product needs to go. qILL@#nO @8 Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) measures the impact of products on the environment. An LCA is an accounting of the inputs and outputs for a product system, beginning with extraction of raw materials from the earth and continuing through all of the steps of transportation, manufacturing, product fabrication, product use, and end-of-life, which may include reuse, recycling . Biron, Michel. Sensor3 disposable razors for men feature an enhanced Lubrastrip with water activated Comfortgel technology for ultra-gentle shaving on your sensitive skin. Differences in environmental impacts between devices may present a compelling consideration in their selection. The International Journal of Life Cycle Assessment. This points to the need for effective inventory control, which is also critical for the reusable devices because there needs to be a sufficient number clean and on hand while another batch is undergoing cleaning, sterilization, and cooling. Metal materials are sent for smelting and conversion to new alloys (Terracycle). The life cycle impacts of the disposable and reusable LMA options are shown in Figure 2 for all impact categories, on the basis of data from Yale New Haven Hospital. LMA Classic Product Specifications, 2011, 10. Using BEES to select cost-effective green products. 3. For more information, please refer to our Privacy Policy. Polystyrene is a naturally transparent thermoplastic that is available as both a typical solid plastic as well in the form of a rigid foam material (Rodgers, Everything You Need To Know About Polystyrene (PS).). Manufacturers can do this solely by machine or by human eye/hand plus machine for extra quality assurance. #3. Growing awareness of the negative impacts from the practice of health care on the environment and public health calls for the routine inclusion of life cycle criteria into the decision-making process of device selection. This document is an update and merger of two previous EPA documents on LCA ("Life Cycle Assessment: Inventory Guidelines and Principles," EPA/600/R-92/245, and "LCA101" from the LCAccess, website . Ans: (i) Significant growth in industry of super premium segment . A life-cycle inventory of cloth and disposable diapers was conducted based on diapering habits in Canada The parameters evaluated were energy consumption, water consumption, raw materials 15 Crop water use and water use efficiency on irrigated cotton farms in Australia S. Tennakoon, S. Milroy Environmental Science 2003 93 Finally, the need for manual labor in the cleaning process of reusable LMAs contributed to the costs of these LMAs. The next step is to temper the steel at a temperature of 482-752F (250- 400C) and pressed into thin sheets (Safety Razor, Marvel Product Razor Lady Body Shaver Disposable Razore. The cartridge-based razor had a slightly higher impact due to the rubber parts which cant be separated from the plastic body. Terracycle is a company that was created to address the issue of recyclable products that often end up in landfills. On the basis of observation at Yale New Haven Hospital, it takes approximately 10 minutes to conduct all cleaning processes for 1 LMA, which is equivalent to roughly $3 in wages. Subramaniar Trading Company. This reflects the equivalence between 40 disposable LMAs and their associated materials, waste, and 40 uses of 1 reusable LMA. Data is temporarily unavailable. This makes it an easy and quick method to start the analysis of a product and aid the designer when creating alternative concepts which are more environmentally friendly, because they can clearly identify what areas need improvement and which ones work well already. Main methodological choices . Contribution: This author helped design the study, analyze the data, and prepare the manuscript. The unit cost of disposable LMAs is 20% higher at approximately $9.60 per unit. Being that it is such a common and quickly replaced product, this is is a major issue in terms of waste. This means, of the 2 billion razors disposed of annually within the United States, each razor will be on the planet longer than the people who used them. These few simple materials go through processes of heating, cooling, moulding, cutting, and sharpening throughout their manufacturing process to eventually become the handle, razor blades, and blade cartridge, that will then be assembled to become a disposable razor. Anesthesia & Analgesia114(5):1067-1072, May 2012. After reaching the end of their useful lives, both LMAs and their respective packages entered waste management, which was modeled using US average statistics on recycling/composting, landfilling, and incineration.15 Although some incineration facilities also produce electricity, this credit is not included here. Environmental Life-Cycle Assessment of Disposable Bioreactors - BioProcess InternationalBioProcess International Upstream Processing Bioprocessing begins upstream, most often with culturing of animal or microbial cells in a range of vessel types (such as bags or stirred tanks) using different controlled feeding, aerating, and process strategies. Tungsten Carbide. Encyclopdia Britannica, Encyclopdia Britannica, Inc., 17 Dec. 2018, Eshwar Shop. Life cycle assessment (LCA) is a framework for assessing the environmental impacts of product systems and decisions. BIC says its product beats out other models by 59 percent. Eckelman, Matthew PhD*; Mosher, Margo; Gonzalez, Andres; Sherman, Jodi MD. 13, 14 There are few published life cycle assessment studies of medical items (ref. It has been assumed that the only part recycled at the end of life is the packaging. All that is needed is the insertion of the razor blade into the plastic body. 3.7.Product Life Cycle Analysis . Rogers, Tony. This project is a collaboration between the Great Recovery Programme and Fab Lab London. The total energy consumption of the Babyplast in its four-step molding cycle of setup, fill, cool, and reset was approximately 4.5 kilowatts (Weissman A Comparative Life Cycle Assessment of Disposable and Reusable Packaging for the Distribution of Italian Fruit and Vegetables. The environmental impacts of the 2 LMAs were estimated using SimaPro life cycle assessment software and the Building for Environmental and Economic Sustainability impact assessment method. BIC put out a report detailing how they deal with the waste from their factories. Certain practices would further reduce the environmental impacts of reusable LMAs, such as increasing the number of devices autoclaved in a single cycle to 10 (25% GHG emissions) and improving the energy efficiency of the autoclaving machines by 10% (8% GHG emissions). After the end of their recommended lifetime, reusable LMAs were also placed in municipal solid waste containers. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The backbone of LCA is the life cycle inventory (LCI), an analysis of material and energy ows resulting from all phases of the product life cycle. Sets Strategy to End 'Staggering' Garbage Crisis.The New York Times, The New York Times, 23 Sept. 1988, We performed a life cycle assessment of 2 analogous LMAs, the disposable LMA Unique and the reusable LMA Classic, according to internationally accepted standard life cycle assessment methods (ISO 14040: 2006). At the end of applying the additives, the blades are once again heated, to cement the coating onto the blade. Can J Anaesth 2001;48:40912, 22. Due to the nature of the disposable razor, they are usually just thrown in the trash and sent off to a landfill. For example, the designer might think that the manufacturing stage would be the most impactful, when in reality for some products its the raw material extraction or its use phase. Sustainable Development Report. The company urges users to mail packages over 15 lbs., in order to reduce the waste of mail as well, yet is not necessary. Die Basics 101: Intro to Stamping. The Fabricators, 18 July 2018, Here we present a life cycle assessment of 2 laryngeal mask airways (LMAs), a one-time-use disposable Unique LMA and a 40-time-use reusable Classic LMA. Julabo Gmbh, et al. Several waste management scenarios were also considered, including 100% landfilling and 100% incineration, because practices are highly location dependent. How Long Will It Take That Bag of Trash to Decompose in a Landfill?The Balance Small Business, The Balance Small Business, 22 Oct. 2019, Its an extremely strong and durable metal compound, making it perfect for the use of razor blades (Siddle, How Is Tungsten Carbide Formed?; Tungsten Carbide. This study assumed no difference between the devices in terms of clinical efficacy or time for placement.4 Disposable LMAs were discarded in regular municipal solid waste bins after use. These results will then be used to inform the design process and improve the redesigned razor. Reusable LMAs were collected in a dirty device bin on the anesthesia cart and then reprocessed by the anesthesia technicians. However, by looking at just this one company, there is a sense of the massive amount of direct and indirect emissions from just the making of razors that are thrown away so quickly after use, with an increase annually of users. 15 - 21 Our group recently performed a life cycle assessment of anesthetic drug trays, finding that reusable trays were both environmentally and . GaBi is a LCA software that allows its users to connect environmental impacts to a product across its lifespan. Two Life Cycle Impact Assessment (LCIA) methodologies were employed using SimaPro software 51,52 to calculate the environmental impacts of manufacturing both the plastic and compostable coffee . Criteria for the selection and purchase of medical devices typically include safety for patients and staff, efficacy and ease of use, and purchase and handling prices. Interpretation of results The last step in the process is to interpret the results and compare them against each other. The metal is then quenched in water to bring it to -76 to -112 degrees Fahrenheit to harden the material (Safety Razor). DEHP leaches out upon exposure to heat and lipids, as would be the case in contact with mucous membranes. A complete life cycle cost analysis would complement the life cycle assessment results shown here; however, a simple analysis reveals that, assuming full utilization, a $200 reusable LMA costs $5 per use, plus $3 per cleaning for a unit cost of $8, excluding utility and hospital overhead costs. The largest source of GHG emissions for the disposable LMAs (23%) is the production and polymerization of PVC, the main material constituent. SimaPro is our flagship product: life cycle assessment software that gives sustainability experts, product designers and decision-makers the power to gain insight into the environmental performance of products and services, to define hotspots and to drive positive change. The life cycle assessment results shown here allow clinicians and health care administrators to understand the balance between direct benefits of a given LMA choice to local patient care and the environmental and human health impacts of that choice that occur far from the operating room. The full life cycle environmental impacts can be challenging to model, because modern production "pathways" can involve numerous interacting technologies, each of which can consume materials and energy that are themselves products of complex production processes. Finally, the assessment will be carried out on the new design to assess if it has a lower impact than the other options analysed. In this case its much harder for me to carry out an LCA on a Gillette razor than if Gillette did the LCA themselves, as they would have all the correct info required first-hand (reducing the number of assumptions needing to be used). The majority of life cycle human health impacts of disposable LMAs are caused by PVC use in packaging and the device itself. BIC is voicing their concern about the environmental impact that their large production goals can have. Amersfoort, The Netherlands: Product Ecology (PR) Consultants, 2011, 11. The fewer LMAs placed in the autoclave, the larger the impacts on GHG emissions and global warming on each individual unit. The plastic, however stable for the user, remains stable long after it is thrown away as well. 2.Define the life-cycle The metal liquid then goes through a strengthening process called annealing. Siddle, Dave. All of which provides an easy user experience, but, takes a toll on the planet. Lippiatt BC, Boyles AS. Camera visual inspection is performed and This is all to ensure BICs quality standards are being met and ensure a quality product. : Uses, Benefits, and Safety, 17 June 2019, The more capital-intensive option of increasing the energy efficiency of the autoclave machines by 10% decreases GHG emissions by 8%. BIC has reported their total energy usage and carbon footprint in their factories around the world, this was all however for the year 2016. They report their waste production being at 340 tons, which represented an increase of 22% from 2015 (Bic). Saudi J Anaesth 2008;2:58. My next blog post will show some design recommendations using sketches and 3D-printed prototypes. Contamination problems with reuse of laryngeal mask airways and laryngoscopes. For both environmental and cost considerations, management and operating procedures should be put in place to ensure that reusable LMAs are not discarded prematurely. The total amount of direct GHG emissions in 2016 was estimated at 8,689 teqCO2, i.e. Here's How to Keep Your Razors from Contributing to Landfill Waste. USA Today, Gannett Satellite Information Network, 7 Aug. 2019, Hedrick, Art. Gillette Mach3 Disposable Razors for Men, 6 Count, Designed for Sensitive Skin. Paper diapers for infants, which are highly convenient as they do not require laundering like cloth diapers, are essential for daily life in Japan. LMA North America. Premature disposal of reusable LMAs has significant environmental impacts (as well as costs, discussed below). A comparative cradle to grave life cycle assessment (LCA) was conducted to determine and analyze the environmental impacts of using disposable acrylic speculums versus using reusable stainless-steel speculums in a women's university health clinic where around 5,000 pelvic exams are conducted on a yearly basis. The GTG LCIs are added together to give a cradle-to-gate (CTG) life cycle inventory . BIC has noted however that they strive to be as efficient with materials used when it comes to their packaging. The LMA, within the heat seal pouch, was then placed in the steam autoclave sterilizing machine (Castle/Getinge MC 3522). . These results suggest that the reusable LMA Classic has fewer life cycle impacts in comparison with the disposable LMA Unique at Yale New Haven Hospital, across several categories of concern. They are resins that maintain a high dimensional stability, which helps create fast and cheap plastic razor handles (Safety Razor). What's the Difference Between Disposable and Reusable Razors for Women?Venus, Safety Razor.How Products Are Made, f'C58NQ}i:]1 $Nh@b8H|iWILGgj{J27]Xp0N@h+ !` >q 3.Quantify the materials and processes LCA's are completed particularly in relation to how to develop a sustainable world where less waste and more reuse is implemented. Small components such as inks and labels on the packaging and on the sterilization indicator strips are expected to have negligible impacts and were excluded from the analysis. The plastic handle and head of the disposable razor consists of a hybrid of polypropylene, polystyrene, and phenylene oxide, also known as PPO. There is no public data entailing the details of this plastics recyclability. During the research, I could not find how much energy BIC injection molding machines use, but I did find the energy usage of a common injection molding machine called the Babyplast. Considering human health concerns, the majority (60%) of impacts for the disposable LMA is due to the production of polymers, PVC in particular, with emissions from incineration contributing another 15%. hb```X ea i:=3*?a_.k7#uq-u[JRP erle@@)`EkP;~ cdC58xiv06@Jup E But what really goes into making one of these seemingly mundane disposable razors and what happens to it after its tossed in the trash? LCA is a standardized, science-based tool for quantifying the impact in order to assess lifetime environmental impact. Sustainable Development at BIC . 6 Jan. 2011. Previous studies have examined the relative environmental profiles of reusables and disposables with regard to medical textiles7 and anesthetic drug trays.8 The present study uses life cycle assessment to evaluate the life cycle impacts of disposable and reusable LMAs across several categories of environmental and human health impacts. Overview. Life-cycle assessment (LCA) is a process of evaluating the effects that a product has on the environment over the entire period of its life thereby increasing resource-use efficiency and decreasing liabilities. Polycarbonate production (14%), transportation via truck (15%), thermoforming (13%), and waste disposal (11%) cause the majority of the remaining emissions. This LCA is specific for surgical gowns used in the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St Paul, Minnesota. Available at: During a Life Cycle Assessment (LCA), environmental impacts are evaluated throughout the entire life cycle of a product (production, use and disposal or recovery).This also includes the upstream and downstream processes associated with production (e.g., the production of . After the parts are manufactured it is time for the final product assembly. The effect of alternate transport modes was quite small for the reusable LMA but quite significant for the disposable LMAs, leading to a large increase in GHG emissions in particular from air freight. I found information about the whole blade manufacturing process, but could not find details about energy consumption in every step of the process. The metal used for the razor blades is called Tungsten Carbide which is used in wear applications, such as shaving (Safety Razor). The number of times an LMA is reused is a particularly uncertain assumption, because there have been reports of premature disposal.16 Use in excess of the manufacturer recommended 40 times has also been reported,17 and 100 to 200 uses appears to be possible with proper handling and preuse checks.1821 Here, 10, 20, 30, 60, 80, and 100 cycles are considered as alternative assumptions.