Going Green: Supporting sustainability initiatives by removing Styrofoam from the waste stream

Bans on plastic bags and other disposable products have been sweeping the nation over the last few years in an effort to become more environmentally-friendly, with Maine recently becoming the first state to adopt a styrofoam ban. Styrofoam, or polystyrene, poses a significant threat to the environment in particular because it is not biodegradable, it is made of fossil fuels and synthetic chemicals, and it cannot be recycled. Styrofoam also takes centuries to decompose and is estimated to make up nearly one-third of our landfills, according to the Livestrong Foundation

Styrofoam Ban Brings New Obstacles for Hospitals 

The impact of styrofoam bans stretches far beyond coffee cups and to-go containers. Health systems rely on a multitude of products that are primarily styrofoam, including cups, plates, bowls, and much more. Identifying opportunities to be more eco-friendly and implementing greener alternatives for these products can be difficult, but the solution may lie in a direct sourcing partner that can provide the environmentally-friendly products you need and the assurances of how they were manufactured. 

Moving to paper is not green if contaminated water is used in the manufacturing process. Moving to 100% recycled plastic, green paper products free of contaminants, and other ethically sourced materials can all be part of ‘going green’. ASP Global is a direct sourcing partner that can help hospitals grow their green initiatives by better understanding what your goals are and what is available to you. We offer a range of products that provide both cost savings and environmental benefits, including paper products that can replace your current styrofoam products. 

ASP’s advantage is in the ability to leverage existing partnerships and start small. This allows health systems to expand the eco-friendly product choices as it makes sense. ASP tests products for you and goes directly to the factory, buying whole containers and saving money over the typical supply channel. ASP actively searches for green solutions in product choices that are not currently common. 

One of these product offerings is our paper cups that are made of durable paper for both hot and cold beverages and can be customized with a logo or special message of your choice. Biodegradable product alternatives, including our biodegradable emesis bags and biodegradable patient belonging bags, are another route health systems can take to become more eco-friendly.  

Benefits to Going Green 

Health systems who are not affected by the recent styrofoam bans should still consider making the transition to paper products to help minimize waste, maximize sustainable sources, and utilize safer materials. Considering the environmental implications of products alongside traditional measures like quality and cost can help supply chain leaders advance their health systems’ environmentally-responsible strategies. Hospitals have an influential impact on their surrounding environment and making small changes like removing styrofoam can have a significant impact. 

ASP Global offers a collaborative approach to greener sourcing, working with health systems to fulfill unique product requirements. We can help you meet your local clinical and quality requirements and accomplish your greener goals by connecting you to new environmentally-friendly options.

For more information on our product offerings, please contact Bill Fallon at william.fallon@aspglobal.com.