Recycling of hospital waste / Product design, collection and sorting remain challenges / PVCMed Alliance workshop in Denmark
The opportunities and challenges of recycling hospital plastics waste were discussed at a workshop held in Copenhagen / Denmark on 25 November 2019. Held at the Danish Technological Institute (Lyngby / Denmark;, delegates heard that interest in recycling hospital plastics waste and nurses’ commitment to collecting and recycling the materials is crucial to a “green transition of healthcare”.

PVC, the most widely used plastic used in hospitals, was the focus of the workshop, which was organised by PVCMed Alliance (, part of the European Council of Vinyl Manufacturers (ECVM, Brussels / Belgium;, together with the Danish Environmental Protection Agency (Odense; and the Danish Medicines Agency (Copenhagen;

Discussion centred on topics including the importance of nurses’ and healthcare professionals’ involvement in collecting plastics waste, the key role that disposable plastics play in medical devices and healthcare, the design of medical products and improving the sorting process. Suggestions to address some of the challenges included designing medical equipment in just one polymer to make sorting and recycling easier. For example, an oxygen mask, which consists of a soft and hard part, can be made either in PVC (of varying softness), or two different polymers. It was pointed out that the latter option makes recycling impossible because of the plastics’ different melting points.

Artificial intelligence and robotics technology could potentially make sorting more efficient by separating the different types of plastics. PVCMed Alliance also argued that every hospital could use its own granulator, which would offer a more low-cost solution and provide sufficiently large volumes to be sold to a recycler.
11.12.2019 [244071-0]
Published on 11.12.2019
PVCMed Alliance: Workshop zum Recycling von KlinikabfällenGerman version of this article...

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