The vision of Lynam Pharma is to develop innovative non-woven fabric products which protect healthcare professionals, patients and the environment.

Lynam Pharma has developed a novel bio-sustainable and biodegradable fabric which uses a single fibre biopolymer and is coated with a nanoparticle antimicrobial barrier layer. This novel fabric is being used to develop single use surgical gowns.

 

Lynam Pharma Limited is aligning its climate mitigation targets with the most ambitious aim of the Paris Agreement and to what science dictates as necessary to reduce the destructive impacts of climate change on human society and nature: to reach net-zero global emissions by 2050 at the latest in order to limit global warming to 1.5°C.

 

Lynam Pharma supports the NHS Net Zero target by supporting the removal of 24.9 MtCO2e from the NHS Carbon Footprint by 2045 and the NHS ambition for an 80% reduction (compared with a 1990 baseline) by 2036 to 2039.

 

The NHS Net Zero report indicated that the NHS can reduce emission from its supply chain in three ways:

1. More efficient use of supplies (recycle and reuse agenda)

2. low-carbon substitutions and product innovations (biobased polymers etc.)

3. Ensuring suppliers are decarbonising their own processes.

 

Lynam Pharma welcomes the opportunity to work with the NHS to substitute products for

low carbon alternatives that deliver improved patient outcomes with a reduced impact on the climate.

 

Target setting

 

A science based target setting strategy is employed using the available peer reviewed literature to provide guidance on target setting. Targets are set for each product produced and for the Organisation as a whole over a 5, 10 and 15 year time frame.

 

The estimation of the carbon footprint of our products is based on the methodology by Bala et al.

CF (total) = CF (materials) + CF (energy) + CF (use) + CF (eol) CF total = total carbon footprint CF (materials) = carbon footprint from raw materials CF (energy) = carbon footprint from all energy and fuel used from manufacture to delivery to end user. CF (use) = carbon footprint during use stage CF (eol) = carbon footprint at end of life, such as transportation of waste, disposal or recycling processes. For example; Global Warming Potential values (GWP) values of Nordic Ecolabelling [kg CO2e/kg polymer] are well documented and can be used for our baseline calculations. Using the Nordic Ecolabelling values we can see that polypropylene (PP) used in the manufacture of current surgical gowns have a GWP of 2.6 whereas biopolymers have a GWP of 1.2. The use of biopolymers in the manufacture of surgical gowns reduces their GWP by 54%

 

Impact and share action

Each Year Lynam Pharma will publish the usage of its products in the NHS as part of its carbon transparency reporting and calculate the total carbon footprint of its products in a a format which can be used by our NHS colleagues.

 

Cascade action

As part of our net zero ambition, we understand the importance of cascading action as well as supporting behaviour change within our organisation and the organisations we work with to reduce, reuse and recycle as much as possible. Research and development in the area of understanding behaviours to support a circular economy is important and, as such we are committed as part of our own research and development strategy to develop tools and understand methods to support resource productivity of our novel fabric products. We will work with Innovate UK, the Engineering  and Physical Science Research Council (EPSRC) and the High Value Manufacturing (HVM) Catapult to look at ways to capture economic and environmental value for the future. Publishing our work is an important part of cascading action and learning from others. We will continue to publish our work and share our learning with other organisations.

 

Waste reduction

Current single use surgical gowns are made from mixed petrochemical fibres which are difficult to recycle. Previous research has highlighted that single use disposable gowns are one of the top fiveplastic problems in the NHS.

 

These items end up either being incinerated or being rendered non-hazardous and being sent to deep landfill. Working with a waste partner our surgical gowns will be placed in dedicated waste bins which will then be collected and processed. As our surgical gowns are a single fibre product, once rendered non-hazardous, they can either be recycled, broken down to monomer components chemically or anaerobically digested thus negating the need for landfill or incineration. We are currently exploring the waste collection process with NHS Trusts which would include support for surgical staff to make segregation as easy as possible.

 

Packaging

Lynam Pharma aims to provide a circular solution which includes packaging. We are working with packaging suppliers to minimise packaging and to remove the plastics in our packaging which cannot be recycled. We have applied for funding from Innovate UK in conjunction with the University of Portsmouth and University of Cranfield to develop innovative recyclable sterile packaging solutions to continue the development and improvement of our current packaging.

 

References.

1. NHS Delivering a ‘Net Zero’ National Health Service. 2020.

https://www.england.nhs.uk/greenernhs/wp-content/uploads/sites/51/2020/10/delivering-anet-

zero-national-health-service.pdf

2. Bala A, Raugei M, Benveniste G, Gazulla C and Fullana-I-Palmer P. Simplified tools for global warming potential evaluation: when ‘good enough’ is best. The International Journal of Life Cycle Assessment. 2010; 15(5):489-498.

3. Eleni Pasdeki-Clewer. What can we do about plastics? NHS Sustainable Development Unit. 2018.