Study Finds Reusable Surgical Gowns are Better for the Environment than Disposable Gowns

Posted by stacy on Fri, May 25, 2018

An investigative study by the American Reusable Textile Association (ARTA) and the International Association for Healthcare Textile Management (IAHTM) has found that reusable surgical gowns are significantly better for the environment than disposable gowns in areas like energy consumption, water use, greenhouse gas emissions and waste management.

The study emphasized a holistic, science-based and transparent approach to surgical apparel usage.

The study looked at the entire life cycle of both disposable and reusable surgical gowns, including the natural resources used in their construction, the energy used in manufacturing, materials used in packaging and energy consumed in transportation throughout each phase of useful life. The basis of the study was an investigation of 1,000 surgical gown uses, which translated to 1,000 disposable surgical gowns or 16.7 reusable surgical gowns. Here are just a few of the findings:

1. Choosing reusable gowns over disposable gowns resulted in a 64% reduction in natural resource energy consumption.

2. Reusable surgical gowns reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 66%.

3. Opting for reusable gowns consumes 87% less water overall, even when taking laundry and wastewater treatment for reusable gowns into account.

4. Reusable gowns contribute to a whopping 83% lower solid waste generation at healthcare facilities.

If you’re looking for ways to make your medical facility more environmentally-friendly, reusable surgical gowns could be part of the answer. At MediCleanse, we provide surgical apparel at different levels of barrier protection so you can find an option that meets your medical facility’s needs. Our fluid-resistant surgical apparel offers superior protection from blood, bodily fluids, spray impact and hydrostatic pressure and meets all standards set by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Plus, our reusable surgical apparel is preferred by most physicians over disposable products and, as the ARTA/IAHTM study demonstrates, is better for the environment.

But don’t stop with surgical apparel. Other studies back up the fact that all reusable textiles have a significant positive impact in reducing energy consumption, water usage and harmful emissions. Think beyond reusable gowns and make a bigger difference with our extensive medical linen services. We can provide your facility with high-quality medical apparel, patient garments, bed linen, towels and environmental services that meet the highest industry standards for hygienic medical textiles. Contact us today to learn more!