United Kingdom – RecoMed, the UK’s PVC medical devices take-back scheme, has won the sustainability category of the 2016 INOVYN Awards for its innovative approach to sustainable healthcare recycling. This is the second accolade in a year for the scheme, which is run by project partners Axion Consulting and the British Plastics Federation (BPF).
Set up in 2014, RecoMed provides recycling containers, communication materials and collections for participating National Health Service and private hospitals. Funded by VinylPlus, the voluntary sustainable development programme of the European PVC industry, the take-back scheme represents an alternative, sustainable disposal route for waste medical items made from high-quality, medical-grade PVC.
Collecting the award on behalf of Axion and the BPF at a ceremony coinciding with the K2016 plastics and rubber show in DÃ¼sseldorf, Axion’s principal consultant Jane Gardner commented: ‘We are delighted and very proud to win this award, which recognises the tremendous achievements of all participants and hospitals in recycling plastics from the medical waste stream.’
It is estimated that up to 2250 tonnes of PVC could be recycled by collecting items such as anaesthetic facemasks, oxygen masks and associated tubing from UK hospitals. Nine hospitals are currently taking part in the RecoMed scheme, with more expected to join in the coming months.
Participating hospitals save on waste disposal costs by recycling non-infectious PVC medical items instead of sending them via clinical waste steams to be either incinerated or consigned to specialist landfill sites.