VinylPlus® Med officially launches its pilot medical PVC recycling scheme in Belgium. Aimed at accelerating sustainability in healthcare across Europe through the recycling of discarded single-use PVC medical devices, VinylPlus® Med brings together hospitals, waste management companies, recyclers and the PVC industry.
Adequate sorting and recycling of non-infectious plastic waste can significantly reduce the environmental impact of hospitals and their operational costs. Building on the success of the VinylPlus-funded RecoMed* recycling scheme of PVC masks and tubing, VinylPlus® Med officially launches a pilot recycling scheme to accelerate sustainability in Belgian hospitals.
PVC is the most common plastic used in life-saving disposable medical devices including oxygen and anaesthetic masks, tubing, IV and dialysis bags. Many of these devices, used once and for a short period of time on non-infectious patients, can be recycled. VinylPlus® Med is now ready to set up a recycling scheme for single-use PVC medical devices to help Belgian hospitals sort their PVC medical waste stream. The scheme will focus on clean and REACH-compliant PVC waste that can be recycled into a wide range of value products marketed across Europe.
The project brings together the Europe Hospitals, Renewi as the waste management company, Raff Plastics as the recycler, and VinylPlus® – the European PVC industry’s commitment to sustainable development. “Starting with a pilot project in Belgium, we are excited to make medical plastics more circular together with our partners” stated Brigitte Dero, Managing Director of VinylPlus.
All Belgian VinylPlus® Med partners are located within a radius of 120 km, to limit transport distances and thus minimise the carbon footprint.
“The VinylPlus® Med project proves once again that recycling is the growth engine of a circular economy: there are still so many materials that are not recycled and that is precisely where there is growth potential. Being circular and innovative is something you have to do together. Value chain collaborations are crucial in the transition to a circular economy. We are therefore very proud to be part of this sustainability project where previously lost PVC is now given a second life!” stated Dries De Pauw, Director Sales and Marketing at Renewi.
Caroline Van der Perre, Co-Owner, Raff Plastics, added: “For a recycling company such as Raff Plastics, projects like VinylPlus® Med are important as we assume that everything starts with a good collection. According to us, there are unfortunately still many materials that could be recycled but, due to unfavourable circumstances, are sent to landfill or incineration. A project such as VinylPlus® Med makes sure that everyone becomes aware and committed to working together to the renewal of raw materials.”
COVID-19 has highlighted the crucial role played by single-use plastic medical devices in the prevention and control of infection in hospitals. The surge in the need of such disposable items has shed light on the challenges of properly managing and discarding them after use.
“Within this context, VinylPlus wants to help Belgian hospitals. After all, PVC is the most widely used plastic in healthcare. Most PVC medical waste is non-infectious and can be recycled when properly sorted and collected. We are keen to enhance PVC’s recyclability in this critical sector and are delighted to officially launch our VinylPlus® Med pilot project in Belgium,” commented Brigitte Dero.
For more information, visit VinylPlus Med or watch the VinylPlus® Med Video.
About Raff Plastics
Being ISO 9001 and EucertPlast certified, Raff Plastics has pioneered high-quality recycling of PVC in Belgium since 1981. As a specialist in plastics, Raff Plastics collects industrial plastic waste and purified post-consumer waste for reuse. Raff Plastics recycles and processes these plastics into new ready-to-use raw materials in polypropylene (PP), high-density polyethylene (HDPE), polystyrene (PS) or polyvinyl chloride (PVC). Raff Plastics produces 50,000 tonnes of plastic recyclate every year.
As a pure-play recycling company, Renewi’s focus is exclusively on extracting value from waste (or end-of-life materials) rather than incineration or landfill. This approach meets both societal and legal trends and provides the most efficient solution for recycling end-of-life materials. By playing the recycling card, Renewi avoids the emission of more than 3 million tons of CO2 and contributes to reducing the scarcity of raw materials. Renewi employs more than 6,500 people and is recognized as market leader in the Benelux. His vision is to be the leading waste-to-product company in the world’s most advanced circular economies.
VinylPlus is the European PVC industry’s commitment to sustainable development. Through VinylPlus, the European PVC industry is creating a long-term sustainability framework for the entire PVC value chain, improving PVC products’ sustainability and circularity and their contribution to a sustainable society. It covers the EU-27, the UK, Norway and Switzerland. VinylPlus represents over 200 companies of PVC resin and additives producers and converters and coordinates a network of around 150 recyclers. VinylPlus has invested around 120 million euros in sustainability in Europe since 2000. VinylPlus is registered as a SMART partnership on the United Nations Partnerships for Sustainable Development Goals Platform.
About the Europe Hospitals
The Europe Hospitals are a leading hospital group serving the city of Brussels and its surrounding areas. As a multilingual general hospital, we offer comprehensive care at our four sites: St-Elisabeth in Uccle, St-Michel in Etterbeek/European Quarter, the Bella Vita Medical Center in Waterloo and the External Consultation in Halle.
Calling on the expertise of over 300 specialist physicians and 1,800 members of staff, we pride ourselves on providing highly personalised care to around 2,500 patients every day. From accurate diagnoses to the most advanced forms of treatment, we combine state-of-the-art medical technology with contemporary infrastructure to deliver high-quality dedicated care with highest safety standards and excellent comfort. For each and every patient. Every day.
Project Leader – VinylPlus® Med
+32 (0) 470 90 30 55
*RecoMed is a recycling scheme for single-use PVC medical devices such as oxygen masks and tubing in the UK.