Consuming Consumables Conscientiously - Cleanroom Technology Article

By Gill Power

Sustainability Consumables Article - Consuming consumables conscientiously and the great glass-plastic debate

Cherwell's Managing Director, Andy Whittard, has written an article featured in the September 2022 issue of Cleanroom Technology magazine.  In the article, Andy highlights that, unfortunately the use of consumables in sterile manufacturing is unavoidable, but that there are positive actions that can be taken to reduce the impact on the climate.  The article includes the great debate over plastic vs glass, covering detail about each side of the argument.

Here’s an extract from the article:

Within the diverse range of consumables, one interesting and much debated area is the use of glass. In virtually all laboratories around the world there will be reagents, compounds and media stored in glass bottles. These are almost always single-use and then disposed of via recycling schemes. However, glass itself is an environmentally heavy product as it requires high amounts of energy to manufacture, transport and recycle.

Thought provokingly, the use of plastic instead of glass could be one possible solution to becoming more sustainable. Several reports and studies have sought to qualify the impact of glass versus plastic, with a view that single-use glass has a greater environmental impact than single-use plastic.

New Call-to-action

The article covers:

  • Recognising the need for change
  • Sustainable options in single-use
  • Pack size considerations
  • Glass vs plastic
  • Reducing energy consumption
  • Conclusion

The article advises that "The pharmaceutical sector faces big challenges in meeting these needs whilst continuing to assure patient safety, but there are certainly options available and a strong desire to become more sustainable."

The article can be found on pages 18, 19 and 20 of the September 2022 issue of Cleanroom Technology.


Our agile approach, in-depth industry knowledge and flexibility allow us to respond to customer needs.  Our team is always available to offer practical advice and solutions tailored to meet individual customers’ specific microbiological monitoring and validation needs.  If you're looking at ways to become more sustainable, by for example, varying your pack sizes of poured media plates, our team will be happy to discuss your requirements.  Please don't hesitate to contact us.  


NEW! Revised Environmental Monitoring Process and Validation Guide 

How are you going to meet the challenge of the new EU GMP Annex 1? 

Our revised and updated guide helps highlight decisions and actions to ensure you remain compliant. 

Download Guide

We promise that we won't SPAM you.