Ansell has switched to fully digital printed instructions for use (IFUs) after the European Commission (EC) removed the requirement that PPE products must be “accompanied” by printed instructions for use.
Before this announcement, the Australian manufacturer of protective industrial equipment and medical gloves had already removed printed IFUs from PPE in the Americas, where regulations did not specify printed IFUs and they started adding QR codes onto primary product packaging worldwide to give all Ansell customers easy access to digital product information.
The President of the Industrial Global Business Unit, Rikard Froberg, brought the matter to the EU’s attention in December 2021, when he wrote asking them to amend the applicable PPE guidelines and encouraged Member States towards paperless IFUs.
Ansell started a petition urging the EC to remove the requirement for paper
Further, in April 2023, Ansell started a petition urging the EC to remove the requirement for paper. They also conducted a survey to gather data on how IFUs are used by their customer base, while the ESF prepared various position papers to lobby for their removal.
Thanks to these collective efforts and the European Commission's strategic commitment to sustainable development in Europe and worldwide, the requirement for printed IFUs for PPE products has been lifted.
This long-awaited change, once approved by all Member States, will be great news for the environment, reducing paper waste. Ansell estimated 10,500 tons of paper every year was used to make IFUs for their protective products sold in the EU.
Going forward, Ansell is actively monitoring the Member States' adoption of these updated PPE guidelines and continues to lead the ESF in their goal of paperless IFUs, which Ansell hopes will be fully endorsed by the EU 27 Member States at their next meeting in April 2024.