Currently, there are 278 million annual wound dressing changes in UK primary care. Most dressing changes include the use of wound cleaning solutions and dressings, which for infected wounds frequently contain chemical antimicrobials such as e.g. polyaminopropyl biguanide aka polyhexamethylene biguanide aka PHMB aka polyhexanide aka polihexanide, chlorhexidine, octenidine, Dialkylcarbomoyl chloride (DACC). The dressings are made of synthetic, non-biodegradable components such as foam, silicones, polymers and hydrogels as well as outer plastic coverings and adhesives. The average weight of a dressing change is 60 g, which amounts to at least 16,680 tonnes of waste annually. This does neither include the more advanced dressings nor the use of vacuum pumps which involve a number of consumables, e.g. tubes, foams, canisters, dressings and in some cases batteries.
There is consequently substantial waste being produced, which contains plastics, silicones, antimicrobials and an array of other chemical compounds. In community care, where the majority of wounds are treated, the waste is typically disposed of as household waste. Studies have shown that antimicrobials released into the environment are highly stable (Lucas 2012) and affect the ecology of rivers and streams (e.g. Lawrence et al. 2008) in addition to their implications for antimicrobial resistance (AMR). The pollution by plastics is well known. This pollution needs to be viewed in the context of the limited effects on wound healing achieved as concluded by the FDA and NICE.
MPPT reduces the number of dressing changes. It only contains natural non-polluting ingredients. Its use does not involve any chemicals or antimicrobials. Its release into the household waste does therefore not pose a risk to the environment. All its packaging is recyclable. Changing to MPPT will therefore reduce the amount of waste and the release of plastics, chemicals and antimicrobials into the environment.
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