European recycling scheme VinylPlus has unveiled a new collaborative project called VinylPlus Med. The initiative brings together hospitals, waste managers, recyclers and the PVC industry to boost the recycling of single-use PVC medical devices.
The corona virus has highlighted the crucial role played by disposable plastic medical devices in the prevention and control of infection in hospitals. The growing need for such disposable items has shed light on the challenges of properly managing and discarding them after use.
‘Within this context, VinylPlus wanted to help hospitals. After all, PVC is the most widely used plastic in healthcare,’ says Brigitte Dero, managing director of VinylPlus. PVC medical devices like oxygen and anaesthetic masks, tubing, IV and dialysis bags save lives every day.
‘Most PVC medical waste is non-infectious and can be recycled when properly sorted and collected. We were keen to enhance PVC’s recyclability in this critical sector and are delighted to launch VinylPlus Med,’ Dero notes.
The recycling scheme will start with a pilot in Belgium and will focus on clean and REACH-compliant PVC waste that can be recycled into a wide range of value products marketed across Europe. In partnership with the Europe Hospitals, the high-quality PVC waste of three dialysis facilities will be collected and recycled.
The project will also partner with Renewi as the waste manager and Raff Plastics as the recycler. All Belgian VinylPlus Med partners are located within a radius of 120km, to minimise transport distances and limit the carbon footprint.
‘We want to concentrate more on the efficient management of our plastic waste. Our single-use plastic medical devices that we use everyday should be recycled,’ comments Evelyn Vass, operational director at the Europe Hospitals. ‘Our staff is motivated to enhance the sustainability performance of our healthcare facilities. We all believe that it is our responsibility to save money as well as preserve resources and the environment.’
The new project follows the success of the previous scheme called VinylPlus Med.
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