Blue sterile wrap is a polypropylene plastic used in operating rooms and hospitals throughout the country to protect patient gowns, toiletries, medical devices and surgical instruments from contamination. And now, in an effort to reduce waste, the blue wrap is being used to create MGH reusable tote bags.

Though the plastic is instrumental for hospital cleanliness, it also contributes to the 20-to-30 percent of overall hospital waste. Of that, 19 percent is blue wrap that ends up in landfills.

The reusable bags are created by Circular Blu – a company based in Medford, Massachusetts that “up-cycles” blue wrap to create reusable tote bags. In support of this green effort, the MGH General Store now carries two styles of the Circular Blu bags, one solid blue and the other featuring blue and white stripes.

“When Monica Nakielski, Partners HealthCare project manager for sustainability, approached me about carrying the bags, I was skeptical,” says Shannon Babbitt Hoyt, Ladies Visiting Committee buyer for the MGH General Store. “I was pleasantly surprised by the quality and strength of the bag. I think our customers will like the customized MGH logo.”

Read more articles from the 10/13/17 Hotline issue.