Advanced Recycling of Healthcare Plastics: An Opportunity for Circularity
Plastics play a critical role in the delivery of safe and cost-effective healthcare services around the world. However, the healthcare industry has recognized that the environmental footprint from the widespread use of plastics, especially packaging, is significant. And while we recognize that reduction and reuse initiatives have a higher priority on the waste hierarchy and progress in these areas must continue, we wanted to explore advanced recycling technologies in an effort to discover if they could address the healthcare plastics waste stream in a meaningful way.
In 2020, HPRC conducted interviews with sixteen advanced recycling companies from across the U.S. Through this work, we identified opportunities to expand current healthcare recycling capabilities, as well as challenges posed by the current level of maturity of the various advanced recycling technologies, including purification, decomposition, and conversion. Additionally, we carried out interviews with a number of logistics providers and healthcare facility professionals to gain further understanding into the feasibility of advanced recycling as a solution for healthcare plastics.
The full white paper includes:
Discussion of common healthcare plastics and the challenges associated with recycling them.
An overview of the advanced recycling industry, current technologies, and environmental impacts.
Insights from advanced recyclers, healthcare organizations and logistics providers.