life cycle assessment of disposable razors

BIC has done their best to deal with waste in an environmentally conscious manner. It has a low density and is quite flexible and heat resistant, therefore making it an easily moulded and extruded material. CASE STUDY ANALYSIS - CLEAN EDGE, NON DISPOSABLE RAZOR Q1. The indirect emissions were mostly from the electricity use in the factories. %%EOF Please enable scripts and reload this page. Composition Assumptions for Disposable and Reusable Largyngeal Mask Airways (LMAs). PPO elements of the disposable razor are hard to determine in years, however, data shows that most plastic items take up to 1,000 years to begin to decompose (LeBlanc). Paper diapers for infants, which are highly convenient as they do not require laundering like cloth diapers, are essential for daily life in Japan. Each manufacturing plant or node in the supply chain is referred to as agate-to-gate (GTG) life cycle inventory. The largest source of GHG emissions for the disposable LMAs (23%) is the production and polymerization of PVC, the main material constituent. The US Environmental Protection Agency's Tool for the Reduction and Assessment of Chemical and other environmental Impacts (TRACI) life cycle impact assessment method was used to model environmental impacts of greenhouse gases and other pollutant emissions. The materials used in the production of disposable razors are limited due to the products simplicity however, many of the materials are unsustainable in that they are not biodegradable or easily recyclable, and require heavy energy input to manufacture. Life cycle assessment (LCA) is a method used to estimate the total environmental impacts from producing a good or service. 3. How One Facility Completely Eliminated the Use of TCE Schick Razor Blade Manufacturing in Knoxville, Tennessee. 2017. 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. Chu L, Mathur P, Trudell J, Brock-Utne J. Biron, Michel. One of the materials used is polypropylene, a thermoplastic addition polymer made from the combination of propylene monomers (Creative Mechanisms Staff, Another advantage is that the process produces a single score (Eco-Indicator Point) for the all the impacts of the product, not just individual ones for each part. There much environmentally friendly options when it comes to shavings, such as the traditional safety razor and straight razors, which can have a much longer life than disposable razors. In this post I havent shown the whole process, but there are downloadable links to my full Eco-Indicator results, and to the template form if youd like to carry out an assessment yourself. 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 . For waste management, switching from 100% incineration to 100% landfilling typically reduced impacts across all categories by 5%10%, with the national average scenario results decreasing in between. The life of a typical razor blade is not an easy one. To begin the process of creating the metal, the tungsten is purified and ground into a fine powder. Available at: RSA LCA for product sustainability. What's the Difference Between Disposable and Reusable Razors for Women?Venus, Our team of experts has many years of experience in the ecological evaluation of products and services. It is cheap and highly versatile, and can either be hard plastic material, or a soft foam material, making it one of the most common plastic materials manufactured and used (What Is Polystyrene? During production, two components have to be created which are the blade and the plastic body. BIC Group, 2016, Sustainable Development Report. The Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica. The cheap price of the razor does not reflect the high cost of its waste and impact on the environment. LeBlanc, Rick. 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. Kelly, John. The carbon alloy allows for the metal to be strong enough to be exposed to high levels of moisture without corroding, yet brittle enough to be made into thin blades for a multiple blade razor (Safety Razor). :396?Qkt)e. The alloy must allow for easy manufacturing due to the high demand of disposable razors and enough strength to last through transportation and shelf holding. The tungsten carbide is then ground into an extremely fine powder in a wet mill process, where metal binders and other metals such as cobalt may be added to increase the metals strength and durability and to help hold the powder together when it is shaped. The data collected through LCA helps organizations make conscious decisions that affect the environment. Life cycle assessment, according to ISO 14040/44, is conducted in four steps [29,30,31]: (1) goal and scope definition, (2) life cycle inventory, (3) life cycle impact assessment, and (4) interpretation. Environment Agency (Life Cycle Assessment of Disposable and Reusable Nappies in the U.K.) investigated the impact of three diapering systems: cloth diapers with home wash, cloth diapers with commercial laundry, and disposable diapers. To begin the process of making tungsten carbide, the tungsten must first be extracted. The Bic USAs company website provides information about the making of the razors in the factories, regarding their inspection and factory standards, yet there is no mention for the environmental impact of the disposal. It is also often not accepted in curbside recycling, and even when it is, it is not separated and recycled when it reaches the dumping station, making it an unsustainable and wasteful material (Polystyrene. Since then, around 60 billion razors have been produced, distributed, and sold worldwide. What Is Polystyrene? The majority (77%) of life cycle CO2e emissions for the reusable LMA is from natural gas production and combustion to produce steam for the autoclave machine. Most of those razors just end up in a landfill because most countries are not recycling them. In this case its the life-cycle of the cartridge-based razor. For me, I had a few extra bits of plastic that I snapped off because they . f'C58NQ}i:]1 $Nh@b8H|iWILGgj{J27]Xp0N@h+ !` >q Comparison of the single use and reusable intubating laryngeal mask airway. 3.Quantify the materials and processes U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Int Anesthesiol Clin 2010;48:139, 24. This means that it takes around 1 BTU to heat a 0.035-ounce razor blade to the desired temperature (Julabo The number of BIC razors that are used by consumers is astounding. (iii)What are the strategic lifecycle challenges for paramount's current products as well as for clean edge? They report their waste production being at 340 tons, which represented an increase of 22% from 2015 (Bic). The steps in LCA are (1) goal and scope definition, (2) life cycle inventory analysis (LCI), (3) life cycle impact assessment (LCIA), and (4) interpretation of the results. 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. What does a business area's assessment of agreements, income, and value implicate? We are proud that it is among the leading professional LCA software . U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Phase 3: Life Cycle Impact Assessment. To bring the metal to its final form, it is heated to extremely high temperatures to remove the binders, and to mold the metal particles together, in turn, creating a very strong and durable metal compound (Siddle, How Is Tungsten Carbide Formed?). Information on PPO plastics are difficult to find, as most of the data is about how it is made, and the chemical makeup and stability of the plastic, rather than information on the decomposition rate or waste used in the making of it. These benefits must be weighed against concerns regarding transmission of infection. : Uses, Benefits, and Safety, 17 June 2019, This is shown through their commitment to their eco-design process and new recycling programs that are undergoing testing. associated with the environmental interventions attributable to the life-cycle of a product. Tungsten carbide is a carbide compound, made up of equal parts of tungsten and carbon. Overview. Bic has attempted to lower their direct emissions by having factories world-wide and creating: a Transport Community which connects shipping managers on each continent to raise control for greenhouse gas emissions, optimize shipments and routes, and use only responsible carriers (Bic). It can also help them to compare the newly redesigned product to the original, acting as a benchmark to ensure the design changes are actually positive for the environment. (ii)Access paramount's competitive position? After the end of their recommended lifetime, reusable LMAs were also placed in municipal solid waste containers. 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. Anaesth Intensive Care 2004;32:5304, 4. The fewer LMAs placed in the autoclave, the larger the impacts on GHG emissions and global warming on each individual unit. Olsen, Alexandra. 4.Complete the form Packaging is an . Europe, Plastic News. So, while this solution is not an easy fix, as it would require buyers to save their own waste, it does provide an alternative to the disposable razor waste crisis. Tungsten Carbide. Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 26 Nov. 2019, Scope of the life cycle assessment for disposable and reusable laryngeal mask airways (LMAs). Hedrick, Art. On the basis of manufacturer information and density testing, the materials used in the 2 LMAs were identified and their compositions measured using a microgram scale (Table 1). Shabecoff, Philip. Cargo planes and other transport aircraft use jet fuel which produces 135,000 BTU per gallon (Energy Consumption by Mode of Transportation.). The EPA has said in their 2014 report: Currently, little information is available about the fate and transport of tungsten in the environment and its effects on human health. This is only the operational energy consumption, but you still have to take into account all the energy used in the design and installation of the machinery. However, the LCA is not an exact science and has its limitations: LMA Classic Product Specifications, 2011, 10. The blades are then carefully sharpened to create the razor blades. You may be trying to access this site from a secured browser on the server. Die Basics 101: Intro to Stamping. The Fabricators, 18 July 2018, 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. How Does Polystyrene Recycling Work?HowStuffWorks Science, HowStuffWorks, 4 Apr. The alloy is strong enough to resist moisture for a short time in the buyers shower, yet, in the landfill, it does eventually rust and decompose. "Tungsten Processing." Staff, RT. Production of razor blades across the industry is fairly standard. BIC has repeatedly come under fire because of the environmental impact their disposable razors have, due to the sheer amount of their disposable products are used every year. 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).). The Potential of Polypropylene.Recycling Today, Recycling Today, 17 July 2019, 3. What makes for an easy, simple, and affordable mass produced and used product costs more in its long afterlife in the landfill, out of sight of the buyers awareness. However, the viability of the disposable razor is always thrown into question because of the sheer amount of resources that it expends. 748 0 obj <> endobj I found information about the whole blade manufacturing process, but could not find details about energy consumption in every step of the process. Subramaniar Trading Company. The natural half life of a large stock of reusable laryngeal mask airways at a teaching hospital. It takes a lifetime perspective LCA takes into consideration all the steps that lead from raw material through manufacture, distribution and usage to final disposal. The original LMA was a reusable device (Intavent International SA, Henley-on-Thames, UK). Swiss Center for Life Cycle Inventories. Anyone can send in razors of any kind, and the plastic and cardboard packaging as well. In the case of the disposable razor however, it is fairly simple due to its nature. London 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. Manufacturing Processes (RAZOR): KAI FACTORY: KAI Group. KAI FACTORY | KAI Group, The company urges users to mail packages over 15 lbs., in order to reduce the waste of mail as well, yet is not necessary. Dbendorf, Switzerland, 2011, 12. Bic did have an increase in non-hazardous waste due to: expansion work or renovation of buildings or development of new products and manufacturing equipment (For You For Everyone: Registration Document, Bic) For carbon footprint assessments for large companies, they are assessed on direct (scope 1) emissions and indirect (scope 2) emissions of greenhouse gases. One of their most popular products is the disposable razor, which they started to manufacture in 1975. LCA can be used to compare alternative products, processes or services; compare alternative life cycles for a certain product . The most important sources of impacts for the disposable LMA were the production of polymers, packaging, and waste management, whereas for the reusable LMA, washing and sterilization dominated for most impact categories. Contribution: This author helped design the study and prepare the manuscript. There are land, air, and water-based transportation methods. Overall BIC is an industry leader when it comes to reducing the environmental impact that their disposable products make. Both were assumed to be transported to Los Angeles, CA, by container ship, and from there by truck to the company distribution center in San Diego, CA. Tungsten has a high melting point and is used mainly for strong tools unless used for smaller applications when combined with a carbon alloy: Its alloys are employed in rocket-engine nozzles and other aerospace applications (Safety Razors). Nash, Nathaniel C. HOW BIC LOST THE EDGE TO GILLETTE. The New York Times, The New York Times, 11 Apr. Therefore, to help designers get started and make informed decisions, a Life cycle Analysis (LCA) can be carried out using the information gathered during the research stage. There are so many variables that you have to take into account when calculating how much of an impact a product is having on the environment and our resources. Amersfoort, The Netherlands: Product Ecology (PR) Consultants, 2011, 11. A life cycle assessment (LCA) is used to identify the environmental risks of existing and planned products, services and manufacturing processes as well as identify strategic improvement opportunities. Encyclopaedia Brittanica, Encyclopaedia Brittanica, Inc., 26 Sept. 2012, 2002/03 and 2005/06, to include an assessment of the effects of a range of behavioural assumptions on the life cycle environmental impacts of the reusable nappy types, and to compare these with each other and with modern disposable nappies. BIC put out a report detailing how they deal with the waste from their factories. Teoh W, Lim Y. No such cases have been reported since 1976.a There is no reported case of iatrogenic infection of any type linked to a reusable LMA. Erosion time for the blades was difficult to find, yet tungsten steel does erode faster than the plastic elements to the disposable razor due to the carbon alloys brittle makeup. Washington, DC: U.S. Bureau of Transportation, 2002, 14. Their disposable nature causes them to be put into landfills faster than it takes them to be made, packaged, and shipped. A life-cycle assessment or LCA is a 'cradle to grave' analysis of the impact of a manufactured product on the environment. Disposable razors are created for a short user time, and an easy answer to the growing populations fast paced lifestyles and needs for shaving: they are primarily designed to be simple, economical, and disposable (Safety Razor). 13, 14 There are few published life cycle assessment studies of medical items (ref. Depending upon on how the razor is packaged, the finished cartridge may or may not be assembled onto the handle of the razor, as some companies choose to package the handle detached the cartridge(s). 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. A Comparison Life Cycle Assessment between Razor Blade and Electric Shaver. Dec. 2012. With the amount of waste accumulated from the factories and the bulk of the razors ending up in landfills and oceans, a low price of $1 removes the buyer from how high the cost on the environment a disposable razor is. There could be hundreds of different sources for their materials. There is always some level of uncertainty in the results and in the methodology; so users shouldnt take the numbers shown as absolute values, but more as a guide to prioritise work. In order to carry out the Eco-Indicator analysis method, the methodology described below has to be followed: According to studies done by the EPA, tungsten steel was originally tested as a stable metal in soil that does not dissolve easily in water (EPA). Once the plastic has cooled, the pieces are released from the moulds. BIC may be doing as much as possible to lessen the impact of the production of disposable razors, but due to the massive production it will because unsustainable, because of the energy input, material consumptions, and unrecyclable nature of disposable razors. Despite its ability to be recycled, it often ends up in the landfill as many people dont know how to properly recycle it, people are too lazy to recycle, or the plastics arent labeled properly (Polypropylene. Wikipedia). Safety Razor.How Products Are Made, The blades, which are made from a carbide steel made using tungsten carbide, the handle, which is made from a combination of plastics such as polypropylene, polystyrene, and phenylene oxide (PPO), and the cartridge, which is made up of these plastics and sometimes the carbide steel as well (Safety Razor, The next step the blade goes through is called polishing in which is done using strops made out of cowhide to get the desired blade edge shape, the blade is then cut into the sizes of the individual blades, which are then sent off to be inspected. After the parts are manufactured it is time for the final product assembly. Ask a worker if you can put them in the bin by themselves or if they need to be in a recyclable container to protect sanitation workers from being cut. Anaesthesia 2007;62:3814, 5. van Zundert AAJ, Fonck K, Al-Shaikh B, Mortier E. Comparison of the LMA-Classic with the new disposable soft seal laryngeal mask in spontaneously breathing adult patients. Terracycle. Polystyrene is not biodegradable and takes hundreds of years to break down. Safety Assessment of Di(2-ethylhexyl)phthalate (DEHP) Released from PVC Medical Devices. For You For Everyone: Registration Document.Bic World, Bic, 2016, In this paper, this will be exactly what we will discuss, from what materials go into making a disposable razor and how they are made, to what happens to it after its tossed out, and all the energy and waste that is used and expelled throughout its lifecycle. Impact Assessment. Polyphenylene Oxides.Polyphenylene Oxides - an Overview | ScienceDirect Topics, 2013, Main methodological choices . Sinha R, Sunder R. Retiring reusable laryngeal mask airways after 40: an anaesthetist's dilemma. By far, the biggest impact during the manufacturing of the razors was the 17 spot welds done in each cartridge. Sets Strategy to End 'Staggering' Garbage Crisis.The New York Times, The New York Times, 23 Sept. 1988, Sherman JD, Ryan S. Ecological responsibility in anesthesia practice. The use of LCA to introduce life-cycle thinking into decision-making for the purchase of medical devices in the NHS. 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. Municipal Solid Waste Generation, Recycling, and Disposal in the United States: Facts and Figures for 2010. This break-even point will change depending on the category of environmental impact being considered. A life cycle assessment or analysis according to ISO 14040/14044 is an instrument of environmental and sustainability management. Saudi J Anaesth 2008;2:58. BIC has noted however that they strive to be as efficient with materials used when it comes to their packaging. Silver Spring, MD: U.S. Food and Drug Administration, 2002, 26. Disposable razors are a commonly used item for most Americans, and over two billion razors are thrown away every year in the United States (Shabecoff). Disposable BIC razors are hollow and made using injection molding, but making the razors hollow is only possible because of the fluid nature of polystyrene (The Bic Razor, Still the Sharpest of the Bunch.). The Environmental Protection Agency classifies DEHP as a probable carcinogen, and as a possible endocrine disrupter.24 The FDA issued an advisory in 2002 recommending steps be taken to reduce the risk of exposure to DEHP in certain populations.25 There is enough evidence of reproductive and developmental toxicant effects from DEHP for the FDA to recommend alternatives for patients deemed at high risk, namely infants, toddlers, and pregnant and lactating women. %PDF-1.5 % In addition to traditional criteria for the selection and purchase of medical devices that include safety, efficacy, and cost, 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 product selection process. Finally, inclusion of the environmental impacts of labor for cleaning (from wages spent on goods and services) only nominally increases the total GHG and water impacts of reusable LMAs. Whereas transportation has a relatively significant GHG impact for the disposable LMAs, by comparison the transportation of reusable LMAs has little impact on GHG emissions, because 40 disposable LMAs must be shipped to provide an equivalent function to 1 reusable LMA. Disposable Razors in Bulk, Bulk Razors with Knife Caps, Individually Packaged Disposable Razors Bulk, Suitable for Hotels, Shelters, Homeless People, Nursing Homes, Charities, Churches (60) 4.2 4.2 out of 5 stars (9) $22.39 $ 22. Contact Supplier. Applying this method of assessment is complex and difficult and translating the theory into a . Polystyrene. Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 2 Dec. 2019, Table 2 shows the results of alternate assumption on the overall results. To go from raw materials to final product involves many steps and heavy energy input. Any extra plastic will be discarded, remelted, and reused (Safety Razor, 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 . Though technicians are paid regardless of whether they are cleaning LMAs or are performing some other task, these wages are nonetheless assigned to the reusable LMA on the basis of time spent. The metal is then heated and then cooled slowly to remove any internal stress, which makes it tougher, this process is called annealing (Safety Razor). The metal is not yet to its final form, as it is still greatly held together by the previously added binders. The Ramboll Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) found that, assuming realistic usage over a year, the energy consumption involved in the use phase of reusable plastic and traditional crockery, during in-store or out-sourced washing and drying, outweighed the environmental impact of single-use paper dishes. However, we can discuss the energy usage of different modes of transportation. However, because of the new awareness to their wasteful impact on the environment, some companies have begun to provide solutions to the disposable razor issue. 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 The plastic handle and head of the disposable razor consists of a hybrid of polypropylene, polystyrene, and phenylene oxide, also known as PPO. Redesigning the Razor Life Cycle Assessment.The Great Recovery, Yet, as they are designed to be thrown away after use, a question is raised of their fast accumulating waste and its impact on the environment. 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. Plastics are cleaned and pelletized to be recycled into new products, such as picnic tables and park benches. Brimacombe J, Keller C, Morris R, Mecklem D. A comparison of the disposable versus the reusable laryngeal mask airway in paralyzed adult patients. hbbd``b`z$k@D your express consent. Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) is a technique for assessing the potential environmental aspects and potential aspects associated with a product (or service), by: compiling an inventory of relevant inputs and outputs, evaluating the potential environmental impacts associated with those inputs and outputs, For example, LCA results can tell us if one product is environmentally preferable to another . After the products are packaged, there has to be a way for them to get to the end consumer. Goal, scope and background The industrial packages sector has great importance for the transport sector in Europe. They are resins that maintain a high dimensional stability, which helps create fast and cheap plastic razor handles (Safety Razor). I could however not find any details about the energy consumption of the machines used in the assembly process. Life cycle assessment of a disposable and a reusable surgery instrument set for spinal fusion surgeries Leiden A, Cerdas F, Noriega D, Beyerlein J, Herrmann C. Life cycle assessment of a disposable and reusable surgery instrument set for spinal fusion surgeries. In landfilling or incinerating this part, the large amount of energy and material value used in creating it is lost. 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. DEHP is a plasticizer routinely added to impart flexibility to PVC-based products, such as IV bags, tubing, and endotracheal tubes. Several clinical trials comparing function and ease of placement demonstrated no significant difference between disposable and reusable versions,25 allowing hospitals to base purchase decisions on economic considerations alone. By not using air travel and transport, BIC greatly reduces their energy usage and carbon footprint at the same time. Properly following the instructions it should (hopefully) leave you with three pieces, the handle, the metal blade, the plastic that was covering the blade. Such an analysis is commonly performed using life cycle assessment. A Life Cycle Assessment is the systematic analysis of the environmental impact of products during their entire life cycle.

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