Inspiring and Enabling Plastic Recycling Solutions in Healthcare

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Healthcare Plastics Recycling Council

Modern healthcare would not be possible without the use of plastic. It has proved to be one of the few versatile materials that has been able to adapt along with the dynamic nature of the healthcare industry, delivering benefits that include sterility, quality, durability, and most significantly, patient and healthcare worker safety. However, despite the many benefits, there are also unintended environmental consequences with single-use plastics in healthcare, namely the waste that they create. In 2020, over 32 billion pounds of healthcare plastics were produced globally, and is expected to grow to 48 billion pounds by 2025. Most of which is being disposed of in landfills or by incineration and much of this material is uncontaminated and recyclable.

HPRC is a private, technical consortium of industry peers across the manufacturing, healthcare, and recycling industries seeking to improve the recyclability of plastic products and packaging within healthcare. Founded in 2010, and made up of globally recognized members, HPRC engages in pioneering projects designed to help boost plastics recycling efforts in clinical settings of hospitals.

Committed to continuous dialogue, HPRC explores ways to enhance the economics, efficiency, and ultimately the quality and quantity of healthcare plastics collected for recycling. Understanding that regulatory landscapes and infrastructure for recycling are different by geography, HPRC is active across the United States and Europe working with key stakeholders, identifying opportunities for collaboration and participating in industry events and forums.


A Value Chain Approach to Solution Development

We recognize that there is not one single magic bullet that will solve the problem of clean, recyclable healthcare plastics ending up in landfills. There are product design features that inhibit recyclability, hospital staff lack training on what is what is not recyclable, there is limited space and infrastructure within hospitals to aggregate recyclable materials and recycler demand and availability to collect these materials vary greatly by geography. All of these challenges combined, hinder the ability to recycle.

HPRC is unique in its focus on the identification of plastics recycling barriers and solution development along the entire value chain. Meaning, we seek to affect plastics recycling from healthcare product design and manufacturing through product use, disposal and recycle. Through this collaborative approach, we bring the right stakeholders to the table to most effectively develop solutions to an ever-growing and complex waste management issue.

By identifying barriers to recycling at different points along the value chain, HPRC works with the appropriate stakeholder to remove or minimize the barrier, leverage market opportunities and reduce environmental impact.

Our Members

Applying Technical Knowledge and Experience to Sustainability in Healthcare


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