It’s Not Easy Being Green When Your a Type 1 Diabetic

Day 318 – When this blog was created at the beginning of the year, my family was making some changes. We started thinking differently about the waste we created and started making changes to reduce that waste. We started composting, we purchased different products and stopped purchasing others all together. One area that has been rather challenging to cut waste is with my daughter’s diabetic supplies. She was diagnosed when she was 8 years old. She is now 15 and has been through syringes, the pen (a needle device) and now she is on a pump and uses a monitoring system called Dexcom. There is no denying that these devices are keeping my daughter healthy and allowing her to live the most normal life that she can. However, it is sad that these companies have not come up with a plan to take back their plastic waste.

Image borrowed, but represents the amount of waste produced every 3 days.

Every three days she has to change her site, in which the pump is attached to her body. Every 10 days she has to change the site where the sensor, that monitors her blood sugar, is attached to her body. Each time these changes occur another large piece of plastic needs to be discarded. Medtronic, the maker of the insulin pump, nor Dexcom have taken on any responsibility to take back the plastic they produce. I know they are in the business of saving lives, but what about saving the planet?

Here are a few facts about the number of Type 1 diabetics in the U.S.

  1. Approximately 1.6 million Americans have Type 1 diabetes.
  2. By 2050, 5 million people are expected to be diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes.
  3. An estimated 64,000 people are diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes each year.

Sadly, Type 1 diabetes is not going anywhere anytime soon. Companies making billions to supply the millions that need these life saving devices, need to start realizing they have an obligation to the rest of the world. They need to start taking responsibility for the waste produced by their products. They need to stop putting the responsibility on the patient. Don’t these individuals have enough to worry about? Adding to the plastic problem should not be one of them.

Tomorrow, celebrating National Recycling Day!

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