MD&M East Attendees Take the Tyvek® Challenge

Tyvek® Rx: August 2014


After undergoing major renovations, the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York City was once again the site of MD&M East. Known as the largest MedTech event on the East coast, MD&M East 2014 was held June 9-11.

Attendees of this year’s event were invited to “Take the Tyvek® Challenge” at the DuPont Medical and Pharmaceutical Protection booth. Participants were handed two unmarked sheets and asked to identify which one was coated DuPont™ Tyvek® and which one was coated medical-grade paper. Then, participants were asked to indicate which of the four containers—paper recycling, plastic recycling, trash or biohazard—should be used for proper disposal of Tyvek®.

Many people were surprised to learn that the correct answer was the plastic recycling container.

Handouts in the booth explained three key points:

  1. Tyvek® is made of high-density polyethylene (HDPE) and can be recycled where appropriate recycling programs (or facilities) exist. The items sent for recycling must not have been in contact with any hazardous substance.
  2. Tyvek® is a lightweight, durable material. Lower material weights needed for performance result in less energy and resource consumption, and less material waste at the end of product life.
  3. Tyvek® offers a superior strength-to-weight ratio. This light weight can potentially reduce energy use in transportation compared to heavier competitive products.