The Healthcare Plastics Recycling Council (HPRC) is pleased to announce the appointment of The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center to its Healthcare Facility Advisory Board (HFAB), a role intended to help the council set priorities and steer the agenda toward its mission of inspiring and enabling sustainable, cost-effective recycling solutions for plastic products and materials used in the delivery of healthcare. Specifically, HFAB members assist the council in identifying high-value needs and opportunities for action, share firsthand perspective and understanding of recycling barriers that exist within their facilities, and provide access to data, information, and resources at the hospital level.
“With a problem as complex as healthcare plastics recycling, stakeholder input is vital,” says Peylina Chu, Executive Director of HPRC. “Based on their recycling program successes, ambitious waste goals and commitment to sustainability, Ohio State Wexner Medical Center is perfectly positioned to provide valuable insights into the challenges of recycling within patient care settings, which will help inform HPRC activities as well as improve our tools and effectiveness.”
Ohio State Wexner Medical Center is a multidisciplinary academic medical center located in Columbus, Ohio, and is a leader in central Ohio for healthcare and medical research. The Ohio State University has set ambitious resource stewardship goals, including a zero-waste goal by 2025. To achieve this goal, they have been working to increase their diversion rate for several years and have made significant progress through a focus on recycling, especially of plastics. Some successes include:
Diversion rate improvement to 33% in fiscal year 2020
Blue wrap recycling pilot that recycled 2000 pounds of material in five months at two outpatient facilities
Recycling in the operating room based on acceptable materials (such as hydrogen peroxide bottles, sani-wipes containers, saline bottles, etc.) from single stream recycler
Improved recycling and decreased contamination through education
“As a healthcare organization, we understand the connection between resource stewardship and community health,” says Aparna Dial, MS, MBA, LEED AP and Senior Director for Sustainability and Strategic Services for Ohio State and Wexner Medical Center. “Shared learning is critical to accelerating work and ultimately furthering sustainable practices throughout our medical center and sector as a whole.”
HPRC is engaged in multiple initiatives aimed at enabling recycling of healthcare plastics, including: development of plastic product and packaging design guidelines to improve end-of-life recyclability, development of a how-to guide, called HospiCycle, for hospitals seeking to recycle healthcare plastics generated in their facilities, and development of a recycling vendor directory to connect hospitals with recyclers in their area. The council is currently preparing for a chemical recycling pilot that will take place in late 2020.
Additional healthcare advisory board members include Ascension Health, Advocate Aurora Health, Cleveland Clinic, Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center, Hackensack Meridian Health, Kaiser Permanente, and Lehigh Valley Health Network.
HPRC is a private technical coalition of industry peers across healthcare, recycling and waste management industries seeking to improve recyclability of plastic products within healthcare. HPRC is made up of brand leading and globally recognized members including Amcor, Baxter, BD, Boston Scientific, DuPont, Eastman Chemical Company, Gore Medical, Johnson & Johnson, Medtronic, Nelipak Healthcare Packaging, ThermoFisher Scientific, Ravago Recycling Group and Remington Medical. The council convenes biannually at meetings hosted by an HPRC member that regularly include stakeholder engagement events and facility tours to further learning and knowledge sharing opportunities through first-hand demonstration of best practices in sustainable product and packaging design and recycling processes. For more information, visit www.hprc.org and follow HPRC on LinkedIn.
About The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center
One of the nation’s leading academic medical centers, The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center offers healthcare services in virtually every specialty and subspecialty in medicine. We’re dedicated to improving health in Ohio and across the world through innovation in research, education and patient care.