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Circular Clean Room

The manufacture of pharmaceutical products is subject to complex and rigorous quality controls, in order to minimize the risks of contamination of its products by bacteria or particles that are in suspension in the environment. However, these controls are not the manufacturers' main concern.

We share the article published today in the magazine FarmaIndustrial: Magazine that collects all the news in the pharmaceutical sector.

In recent years we have seen an exponential generalization of environmental awareness.

The new generations have acquired a position of rejection towards certain non-eco products and are, in many cases, unconditional brand-ambassadors of the new sustainable alternatives that are respectful with the environment and animals.

To this new paradigm is added the current pandemic situation due to COVID-19, which has accelerated concern, not only for the sustainable product, but also for a product based on the circular and proximity economy, which generates employment. and local investment.

The pharmaceutical sector has not been left out of this trend. It has been implementing environmental and social sustainability policies for years, with the commitment that all its products and processes are carried out in a responsible manner, while respecting the environment, favoring the conservation of biodiversity and the sustainable management of natural resources. .

Environmental experts are looking for new forms of production oriented towards respect for the environment and that help to obtain an even more sustainable finished product, based on 3 pillars:

  1. Implementation of new mechanisms to achieve the optimization of the use of direct materials.

  2. Regulation of indirect materials used during manufacturing.

  3. The establishment of environmental control mechanisms, such as the weighted use of sustainable energy, the obtaining of certifications of responsible origin of the materials, the calculation of the CO2 footprint, the control of water consumption and its correct treatment and purification or the minimization and correct management of waste.

"Today, in the new reality, these policies are more relevant than ever and can become an opportunity for companies that lead a comprehensive transformation, since they will obtain a competitive advantage, showing an image of responsibility towards the environment to the end user."

One of the latest trends in clean rooms is the implementation of a model based on the circular economy through the use of reusable, proximity and recyclable products (figure 1).

In this aspect, one of the pillars of this new operation is the implementation of reusable textile material, which reduces waste and the CO2 footprint generated.

Since the inception of clean rooms, and in the absence of a good textile alternative, the use of disposable protective garments to guarantee environmental cleanliness has become widespread. However, the waste generated by the 'disposable / non-woven' material is one of the highest among the total waste in a clean room. On average, each worker consumes, among other disposable products, 2.3 protective divers per day. Taking 22 business days / month, it assumes 50 divers / month and 600 divers / year per user. To this volume, we must add the consumption of cleaning mops, pajamas and other single-use products that are used. As it is not recyclable, it ends up in the gray container, significantly affecting the environmental ratios of the manufactured product.

Faced with this need, the Technotex company (a textile manufacturer since 1890) has developed a new generation of reusable clean air fabrics that, in addition to the necessary protection, helps reduce the environmental impact associated with the production and development of new products.

These garments have been approved and have obtained the certificate by the Aitex textile laboratory for reuse for more than 75 uses, maintaining all of their technical properties.

Returning to the previous example, with only 5 overalls (1 per working day of the week), the worker could dress appropriately for 1.5 years and avoid the waste generated by 600 disposable overalls / year.

The result obtained, after several years of R&D, are high-end fabrics, 100% nationally manufactured, which offer different technical properties while improving the well-being of the worker.

Protective garments are used during long working hours, which is why it is also important to offer a solution that improves the day-to-day life of workers. The fabrics, made with multilobular polyester fibers (developed for the manufacture of high-end technical sports garments) offer current features such as: lightness, a pleasant touch and an effective moisture management system, which, through the more than 100 Textured polyester filaments that make up each thread, cause a natural fluidity of the H20 molecules (sweat) from the inside to the outside, exposing them to the passage of air and facilitating their rapid evaporation (figure 2).

Once the useful life of reusable technical garments is over, they can be taken to specialized textile recycling companies that transform these products into new fibers, whose final destination will be the manufacture of other garments and textile articles or by-products for new uses, such as, for example , soundproofing for the car, shoe soles, geotextiles or thermal insulators for construction. The recovery of these textile fibers prevents their dumping and saves new natural resources and thus contributes to the circular economy that closes the environmental cycle.


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