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Recycling Surgical Blue Wrap Promotes Sustainability

Tray of sterile surgical instruments on surgical blue wrap

Recycling surgical blue wrap makes sense. It keeps the material out of your red bag disposal stream and may even help lower your overall medical waste numbers.

Nowadays, reducing and reusing material is worth the effort. Making new life of your blue wrap, rather than having it go to a landfill, promotes your facility’s sustainability efforts.

In 2021, one Madison, WI hospital recycled nearly 25,000 pounds of blue wrap. About 13% of its total biohazard waste!

What is Blue Wrap?

This blue material, often wrapped around surgical instruments to help keep them sterile, contains 99% polypropylene # 5. In the recycling world, this is a highly sought-after, heavy-duty plastic.

However, blue wrap often gets put in with the rest of the medical or solid waste at many medical centers, hospitals, and clinics.

This Environmental Protection Agency Bulletin estimates that 19% of all operating room waste is blue sterile wrap. So, rather than throw your blue wrap away, recycle or repurpose it.

How Can I Recycle Blue Wrap

Pallet of baled surgical blue wrap

Use a medical waste collection company, like MERI and Logistics Recycling, Inc. (LRI), to collect your blue wrap from your hospital and surgical clinic. At the same time, it collects your medical waste. Putting blue wrap in clear plastic bags separates it from the infectious, hazardous, and universal containers. MERI bales the blue wrap at its plant. Eventually, the material gets sent to a recycling facility, is melted, and repurposed into other recycled plastic products.


Keep Surgical Blue Wrap Separate from All Other Waste

If you recycle your hospital’s blue wrap, remember this simple rule: SEPARATE YOUR BLUE WRAP FROM YOUR OTHER MEDICAL WASTE.

Bags of surgical blue wrap for recycling

The entire system essentially hinges on separating your blue wrap from the rest of your medical waste. Therefore, the bag should contain only blue wrap or associated tape to wrap the medical instruments.

No bodily fluids, sharps, IV bags, chemicals, gloves, infectious material, or hazardous materials can be inside the bag of blue wrap. If any of these materials are alongside the blue wrap, it is no longer recyclable, defeating the purpose of being a friend to the planet.

Proper Way for Recycling Surgical Blue Wrap

Remember, your efforts are only as beneficial as those who’ll take a quick minute to separate blue wrap from other medical waste and avoid contamination. This poster may help educate staff on proper blue wrap disposal techniques. Post it where you store your blue wrap for collection.

Poster about separating blue wrap from other waste

Recycling blue wrap could be your answer if you’re a medical clinic or surgical center looking to improve your sustainability record. Your facility and the environment will reap the benefits when your blue wrap gets a new life rather than end up in a landfill. Contact us to find out how we can help you with your blue wrap recycling efforts.



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