The plastic crisis has been big news for several years now and international campaigns have had a powerful, positive effect. Just think about plastic bag use in supermarkets. The concept of a single-use carrier bag in a British supermarket is now unthinkable.
While many of us happily take to big campaigns to reduce our plastic use, it can be difficult to spot unnecessary plastic in our homes and our professions.
The ancient practice of acupuncture has always been founded in a holistic philosophy. With the themes of wellbeing and connection to nature being strong central tenets of Traditional Chinese Medicine, a dissonance exists when we use equipment and tools that are actively harming the planet.
With an estimated 1.4 billion acupuncture needles used each year, and the vast majority of these being single-use needles, the practice of acupuncture is not a particularly eco-friendly one. Reusable needles come with considerable risk due to the difficulty of proper sterilisation by practitioners but there are other things we can do to reduce the impact.
We have launched our new, multi-pack Meridius ECO range of acupuncture needles as our most recent step in reducing waste.
Less Packaging – Less Waste – Less Time
As an acupuncture practitioner, you’ll be using a variable number of needles in each session but, let’s face it, you’ll never be using just one. Do you get fed up with unwrapping each needle individually? Do you hate throwing the packaging in the bin and watching it mount up?
While acupuncture needles are safest when used as disposables, that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t give great thought to the associated packaging.
With our ECO range of needles, we’ve addressed several environmental concerns:
#1 – No Individually Wrapped Needles in Multi-Packs
With our multi-pack ECO needles, you can now get either five or ten needles and just one guide tube in each blister. This small change dramatically cuts down on packaging, particularly plastic packaging.
Acupuncture practitioners can use up to 30 needles per client in each session, so throwing away individual packaging for 30 needles is excessive. Combine that with 30 guide tubes and that’s a huge amount of plastic thrown away.
#2 – No Guide Tubes in Single Packs
In our single needle ECO packs, we’ve got rid of individual guide tubes. This reduces the plastic waste even in boxes where needles are individually wrapped. Because not every session will require a number of needles divisible by five or ten, most practitioners will still require single-wrapped needles to avoid opening a whole blister of more.
By getting rid of the guide tubes from single needle packs, you can have the best of both worlds and know that the waste is reduced.
#3 – Stainless Steel Construction
Copper has long been a traditional material for acupuncture needles but in our ECO range, we’ve gone with stainless steel. While copper occurs naturally in the earth, copper mining is an incredibly destructive process that leads to deforestation and land degradation. Toxic chemicals used in the extraction and processing can also cause significant contamination in the local land and water sources.
The steel industry is also polluting, but steel itself is endlessly recyclable and contaminated water tends to be filtered and reused.
#4 – Sterilised Using Gamma-Rays
You certainly wouldn’t want to meet a gamma-ray on a dark night but for acupuncture needle sterilisation, it’s considerably better than the traditional gas sterilisation. Gamma-ray sterilisation gives our ECO acupuncture needles five years of shelf life as opposed to the usual three.
This difference means less wastage from old needle boxes throughout the supply chain. This is particularly helpful to small clinics and those who only use needles occasionally.
Switch to Eco-Friendly Acupuncture Needles Today
We can’t click our fingers and turn every product environmentally-friendly, but we can absolutely do our best to reduce our impact on resources and the planet. Our new ECO range is our latest step to reducing our packaging and helping you to reduce yours.