High Tech Environmental Science Majors Participate in “Out of the Blue” Competition

by Jeremy Lewan

(Hackensack, NJ—April 20, 2018) High Tech Environmental Science majors participated in the “Out of the Blue” Surgical Wrap Competition, sponsored by the Deirdre Imus Environmental Health Center at Hackensack University Medical Center, announced Dr. Joseph Giammarella, Principal of High Tech.

The “Out of the Blue” Surgical Wrap Competition, a celebration of Earth Day, challenged entrants to design and create different products by utilizing unused blue sterilization wrap collected by the Central Sterile Department at Hackensack University Medical Center. This blue wrap can only be used once, in accordance with the hospital’s health policies, so thousands of tons of it contributes to landfill each year.

The competition, facilitated by Nadine D’Ambrosio, Business Development Manager at Hackensack University Medical Center, aimed to produce viable solutions to lessening the waste generated by hospitals and repurposing it to limit production of other waste. High Tech students created an array of products, from wedding dresses to umbrellas to tote bags, rain ponchos, and sleeping bags. The main lobby of Hackensack University Medical Center displayed the products.

Seniors Lily Israel of North Bergen and Bayonne resident Jeremy Lewan worked together to develop a reusable, travel-sized pillow. Made completely from blue wrap, the pillow could be used on airplanes to replace pillows made with synthetic fibers like PET, which contain carcinogenic and endocrine-disrupting chemicals, and those with down feathers, the production of which contributes to animal cruelty due to the live plucking of birds.

“After weeks of experimenting and testing the properties of the blue wrap, we discovered that it is made of two different layers, allowing us to tear it into a soft stuffing to fill the pillow,” says Israel.

High Tech seniors Tige Anderson of Hoboken and North Bergen resident Nicholas Rosado won second place with their umbrella constructed from water-repellent blue wrap.

“It’s great to be part of an initiative to reduce the amount of waste we are creating,” says Anderson. “The more we turn our one-way waste streams into circular ones, the less impact we will have on the environment.”

Tige Anderson of Hoboken

Lily Israel of North Bergen and Bayonne resident Jeremy Lewan
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