Beacon Converters, Inc. and DuPont Protection Solutions are pleased to announce that Bella the Bride’s completed wedding gown, which is made of discarded DuPont™ Tyvek® for medical packaging, will be unveiled at the Medical Design & Manufacturing (MD&M) East Expo and Conference in New York City, June 14-16, 2016. Bella is a sculpture commissioned by Beacon Converters to bring attention to the recyclability of medical packaging waste. The name Bella was chosen to honor the wife of William Francis Daly, the founder of Beacon Converters.
The train of the gown is covered with more than 400 flowers, which also are made from discarded Tyvek®, a high-density polyethylene (HDPE) material that is a sterile barrier protection used for medical devices and supplies. The flowers on the train, as well as those used for the bouquet, were handcrafted by hundreds of healthcare industry professionals from hospitals, manufacturers and educational institutions across the United States. The gown will be showcased in a special display near the registration area in the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center.
“We are delighted that Beacon Converters has taken this innovative and fun approach to helping raise awareness that there are viable alternatives to sending tremendous amounts of healthcare packaging waste to landfills,” said Marc Bandman, marketing manager, Americas, DuPont Medical & Pharmaceutical Protection. “As a founding member of the Healthcare Plastics Recycling Council (HPRC), DuPont applauds Beacon for helping to advance the mission of inspiring sustainability for plastic products and materials used in the delivery of healthcare. And, we are pleased that Tyvek® is playing a key role in showcasing what can be done when healthcare packaging is repurposed into a wide variety of different products.”
Beacon Converters commissioned Nancy Judd, an artist and environmental educator who creates couture fashion from trash, to make this unique wedding gown from healthcare packaging waste that was destined for the landfill or incineration. Beacon Converters also invited members of the healthcare industry to make flowers for Bella the Bride and hosted flower-making workshops during AORN 2016 and a sewing circle event during CleanMed 2016.
“Beacon’s main reason for commissioning the creation of this wedding gown with Nancy Judd is to raise awareness about reducing the amount of healthcare packaging waste to landfill,” said Terri Shank, sustainability officer/director of IT & Marketing Practices, Beacon Converters, Inc.
“Healthcare is a large sector of our GNP and statistics published by non-profit Practice Greenhealth show that between 20 to 30 percent of a hospital’s overall waste is generated from the operating room,” said Shank. “As an industry, we need packaging to provide the highest level of protection and to maintain sterility, but after product use, there is an enormous opportunity to rethink the value of the discarded materials as a resource and look for new channels for recovery.”
Tyvek® was selected for this project because of its widespread use throughout the healthcare industry and its ability to be recycled or recovered for repurposing. Tyvek® often gains a second life in products such as plastic decking and lawn furniture. In addition to medical and pharmaceutical packaging, Tyvek® is widely used for personal protective equipment, weatherization systems and envelopes.
Beacon Converters, Inc. is a sterilization-packaging manufacturer for the medical device and pharmaceutical industry. Founded in 1947, Beacon is third generation family-owned, FDA registered, women-owned and small-business-certified. Their extensive line of packaging products for terminally sterilized medical devices include: peelable and non-peelable pouches, header bags, die-cut lids, rollstock, plastic custom die-cut insert cards and paper bags.
For more than 40 years, Tyvek® has helped to protect the health of millions of patients worldwide and to reduce costs in the healthcare setting by maintaining sterility of medical devices and supplies to the point of use. Recognized as a standard of excellence in healthcare packaging, this advanced material is used in virtually every form of sterile medical packaging, as well as a wide variety of pharmaceutical packaging applications. Along with physical barriers to infection such as sterile medical packaging, DuPont also is focused on the behavioral and biological barriers, and the company is working collaboratively to bring solutions to the global challenge of infection control.
DuPont Protection Solutions is a global leader in products and solutions that protect what matters – people, structures and the environment – and enables its customers to win through unique capabilities, global scale and iconic brands. DuPont™ Kevlar® helps protect law enforcement officers, military personnel, athletes and astronauts; DuPont™ Nomex® helps protect firefighters, industrial workers and race car drivers, as well as mass transit and wind energy systems; DuPont™ Tyvek® helps protect chemical industrial workers, as well as sterile medical devices and building construction; and DuPont™ Corian® resists the growth of bacteria to help protect hospital patients against infection.