The Healthcare Plastics Recycling Council (HPRC) convened a workshop today in Oxford, UK to begin dialogue on how circular economy thinking could be applied to healthcare plastics in Europe. This effort will enable greater recycling and reuse opportunities while reducing negative environmental impacts. The workshop, sponsored by Baxter, BD, Johnson & Johnson, and SABIC, included key stakeholders and thought leaders from Aarhus University Hospital, Amcor, Ellen MacArthur Foundation, EUROPEN, National Health Service England and Scotland, British Plastics Federation and WRAP.
“Given the EU’s Action Plan for the Circular Economy, HPRC has a unique opportunity to demonstrate leadership in the healthcare plastic and packaging space,” says Tod Christenson, Executive Director, HPRC. “By initiating discussions with European stakeholders, we hope to identify and evaluate meaningful activities where HPRC can help drive circular solutions, ensuring that resources are used in a more sustainable way.”
Founded in 2010, HPRC engages with manufacturers, hospitals and recyclers to enable safe and effective recycling solutions for plastic products and packaging used in the delivery of healthcare. Recent work includes product and packaging design guidelines, a how-to recycling toolbox for hospitals, resin testing of the technical limitations in plastics reprocessing and a multi-stakeholder plastic recycling project in Chicago.
“HPRC was founded on the concept that healthcare plastics recycling solutions require a complete value chain approach. We hope this workshop is the first of many opportunities to extend our work in Europe and be a model of industry collaboration,” says Christenson.
Immediately following the workshop, HPRC members will meet to begin developing an action plan based on the ideas and discussion from the previous day that represent the most viable opportunities to advance healthcare plastics recycling in Europe. Additional information will be shared on the HPRC website as specific projects are scoped and initiated.