Archive September 2018 XIX, No. 9

Environmental Stewardship: Blue Is the New Green

The team at Memorial Hermann Surgery Center has found many innovative uses for blue wrap - both in and out of the OR.

Jeannette Sabatini, Associate Editor

BIO

FINDING PURPOSE
Mary L. Chiasson, RN
FINDING PURPOSE Memorial Hermann Surgery Center staff reuse blue wrap to catch runover prep.
GENTLY USED
Mary L. Chiasson, RN
GENTLY USED Alyssa Pytel, CST, places a stapler into a single-use device reprocessing collection bin.
Award Winner

OR Excellence Award Winner

Each year, operating rooms generate hundreds of millions of pounds of blue wrap, which is often sent to landfills for a most improper burial. What to do with all that polypropylene plastic your facility produces? Instead of crumpling up your blue wrap and tossing it in the trash, why not follow the lead of Memorial Hermann Surgery Center in The Woodlands, Texas, the 2018 winner of the OR Excellence Award for Environmental Stewardship?

The staff at Memorial Hermann are so driven to reuse blue wrap that they’re even finding ways to use it outside the workplace. Mary Chiasson, RN, the director of nursing, shares a few clever examples: as a drop cloth when you’re painting, to wipe windows (it doesn’t leave behind lint) and to wrap breakables (it’s very pliable, soft and it doesn’t stain your hands like newspaper).

“I just took a garbage-bag full of it home to have on hand,” says Ms. Chiasson, who wraps it around some of the smaller plants in her yard on chilly nights. “Last year, during Hurricane Harvey, a few of our employees had to temporarily relocate so repairs could be made to their homes. They took home a lot of blue wrap and used it to pack their goods.”

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