Australia – Hospitals in Australia have begun a recycling programme that has already converted 15 tonnes of medical PVC waste into industrial hoses and non-slip floor mats.
Six hospitals and medical centres in the states of Victoria and New South Wales are working with Australia’s national PVC industry body, the Vinyl Council of Australia (VCA), to recycle materials such as tubing, fluid bags and oxygen masks. It is estimated that about 33% of hospitals’ waste is plastic, and about 25% of that is PVC.
A pilot recovery programme, initiated in 2009, showed that PVC medical products can be separated relatively easily by hospital staff. Two more hospitals are set to join the programme soon.
The PVC industry, in collaboration with hospital staff, recyclers, governments and Sydney-based medical product manufacturer Baxter Healthcare, has developed information packs to enable further hospitals across the country to participate.
For more information, visit www.vinyl.org.au