Tools for Starting the Healthcare Plastics Recycling Discussion

Leading the Discussion on Healthcare Plastics Recycling

Tools for Building the Business Case


While hospitals have been champions of recycling for decades, efforts have largely focused on food service and administrative functions. The challenges that hospitals are facing now are how to successfully integrate recycling practices into a patient care setting, and understanding the economic, regulatory, resourcing and infrastructure nuances that come with it. The potential for plastics recycling in hospitals is significant to both environmental and human health impacts.


To help you develop and present a business case for healthcare plastics recycling to hospital executives, we have developed the following tools:  


Preparation Checklist

Our preparation checklist outlines the process you need to go through to make a great business case for plastics recycling at your hospital. Deciding to change the way recycling works at your hospital is a big job. Before you get started you must think about your audience, find an individual who can help you champion these changes, and understand the financial environment of the hospital.


After these steps are completed, you can move on to creating a hospital-specific business case for recycling. This business case needs to be accurate, especially when it comes to cost. After this you have to set a meeting time, create a presentation, practice, and present your case for recycling. This procedure can help you talk to management and inform them of the benefits reconsidering your recycling program could bring.


Guide to Developing a Business Case

Our complete guide to making the business case for hospital plastics recycling is comprised of four parts: (1) an overview of the opportunity, (2) a description of the proposal, (3) the anticipated and/or desired outcomes, and (4) the request for approval and support, can help you plan your strategy and make effective choices when pitching the idea to management.


Presentation Template

Our customizable presentation template can be used as a starting point for talking with the people in charge of recycling at your hospital. This presentation is scalable, and can help you whether your project is simple or complex.


U.S. Hospitals Recycling Survey

HPRC, in collaboration with Practice Greenhealth, summarized information from a 2014 survey of 633 U.S. hospitals and their plastics recycling programs. It was found that two thirds of the hospitals indicated they were collecting 40% or less of what could be recycled in all hospital areas. The results from this study also showed that the biggest challenges to recycling healthcare plastics were difficulties identifying which materials can be recycled, space limitations in both clinical settings and waste disposal areas, and finding a recycler to take the collected plastics.


Want to learn more about starting a recycling program at your hospital? Our complete HospiCycle toolkit can help!