As a company, we strive to better the lives of our patients, employees, and the communities we serve through our commitment to the environment. In the United States, Fresenius Medical Care has put initiatives in place to reduce solid and medical waste, recycle resources, and conserve water and energy at our centers, fostering an environmentally conscious mindset across the company.
Reusable Mircera Shippers
Dialysis treatment requires the use of many different components, all of which need to be delivered individually to dialysis centers. Mircera, an agent used for treating anemia associated with chronic kidney disease, is one important component, and Fresenius Medical Care has launched an initiative to reuse its shipping containers. These containers were once sent to centers and disposed of after a single use, sending over 70,000 individual containers to landfills a year. Now, these containers are sent to centers, emptied, returned, cleaned, and put back into use, creating a sustainable cycle around a major component of dialysis treatment. By incorporating reusable containers into centers, Fresenius Medical Care is simplifying the Mircera unboxing and disposal process for center employees and reducing the amount spent on Mircera shippers, all while reducing the amount of solid landfill waste produced by centers. 
Recycling Dialysis Machines
Finding environmentally conscious ways to dispose of old dialysis machines means generating less waste. With newer models replacing the old ones, new practices are being adopted to reuse and recycle parts of machines. Around 67 percent of a typical dialysis machine is composed of recyclable metal such as copper, aluminum, and steel, while the plastic, bulbs, and circuit boards found in machines can be recycled as well. Recycling parts from dialysis machines reduces our environmental impact and provides another life for these components recovered in the process.
Using Paper Cups
Though something as simple as switching from paper to plastic cups might not seem like a change that could have a significant environmental impact, cups play a large role in our dialysis centers. We used to use one-ounce plastic medicine cups to distribute capsules and gel caps to patients; a single facility used 30 to 50 cups in one day. This equated to each facility disposing of 9,000 to 15,000 plastic cups in a year, all of which were sent to landfills where they released toxic gases as they decomposed. Thanks to recent efforts, plastic cups have been replaced by paper cups, which take significantly less time to decompose (around 30 years compared to 450 years for plastic cups). Plus, paper is much safer for our air and water systems. Paper cups are now the standard, and Fresenius Medical Care estimates a company-wide reduction of 46 million plastic cups a year in the United States.
Recycling Blue Drums
With so many different fluids used to filter blood, it’s crucial to have sustainable means to store them. In centers, Fresenius Medical Care uses 55-gallon blue drums to contain NaturaLyte® and Citrasate®, two concentrates needed for blood filtration. To recycle these drums, the center holds onto the empty containers until the next scheduled delivery and the delivery driver takes them back. Once back at the warehouse, the drums undergo a quality control process, are refilled, and sent back out. Fresenius Medical Care encourages all of its centers to reuse their blue drums and has been doing so for years. Every drum that’s reused is equivalent to one metric ton of carbon waste reduction, helping to reduce carbon emissions and lessen the impact on the environment.
Reusable Sharps Containers
In many dialysis centers, needles and other sharp objects are discarded in plastic containers to ensure safe and efficient disposal. However, when the containers need to be replaced, historically they are autoclaved, shredded, and sent to landfills. The impact of this previous process released thousands of pounds of carbon into the atmosphere as the plastics decayed. In an effort to reduce these emissions, Fresenius Medical Care shifted to reusable sharps containers. Today, reusable containers are transported to a facility where they are emptied, washed, and disinfected, allowing each container to be used up to 600 times. 
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