Member Spotlight: Sean Egan
1. What is your role at your organization?
I am the Director for Global Marketing & Voice of Customer Development at Nelipak Healthcare Packaging. I look after promotional activity across the group with our customers, sales teams and PR partners to create awareness of the products and services we offer. My Voice of Customer Development role involves working with our business partners, customers, and suppliers to identify new packaging solutions which meet current and future needs of our medical device and pharmaceutical customers.
2. How does your organization fit into the recycling value chain?
We provide custom designed rigid plastic packaging to the medical device and pharmaceutical markets which protect their products to the point of use. Through design and development we are able to help deliver solutions which reduce the amount of plastic used through lowering overall footprint, material content, and number of components used in packaging. We work with customers to test plastics which promise to lower environmental impact while investigating options with potential to increase use of recycled content. Increasingly, we are engaging with customers to understand which packaging solutions they can reuse in their processes or redirect into alternative recycle streams post-process, reducing overall material demand.
3. What do you see as the biggest challenges/ opportunities related to recycling healthcare plastics?
The challenge I see healthcare professionals struggle with revolves around understanding which streams materials can be recycled through. People generally understand the recycle symbol but are unclear what the numbers within the symbol stand for and what best practices are in the debate of clean versus contaminated waste. A lot of focus is placed on the end user; however, Nelipak sees opportunity on the supply end to help educate packaging engineers on plastic's recycling potential. There is interest to know more about materials with recycled content and the role they might play in healthcare, as well as the challenges around using them. However, change from proven solutions to alternatives is slow due to regulation and validation costs
4. What do you see as the future of healthcare plastics?
Healthcare plastics will continue to offer the most efficient way to safely deliver products to health professionals and patients where protection or sterile barrier is needed. New tools in the development stage will drive reduction in material usage without compromising quality while innovation in technology will create plastics easier to recycle and more efficient systems to process them.
5. What is your favorite thing about HPRC? What benefits have you received by being a member?
I love the exchange of ideas that takes place among the members, and the opportunity to share experiences and discuss how we can work together with medical OEM’S, hospitals, and recyclers to create a circular plastics economy. Nelipak, through its membership, has strengthened relationships with existing partners who continually demonstrate drive and passion to deliver solutions through ongoing HPRC projects.
6. What HPRC projects are you currently involved with?
I actively recruit for HPRC through ongoing discussion around projects and work carried out. I have also played a part in getting HPRC opportunities to present at events such Pharmapack Paris, promoting healthcare recycling initiatives.
7. What do you do for fun outside of work?
I like photography and often work with video to shoot and edit footage of plays and shows for family and friends. I play golf as an excuse for exercise, or spend time working on new projects in the garden.
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