Hospital Recycling Gets a Checkup
According to research by the American Plastics Council, hospitals generate 12 million pounds of waste each day. About 15−20% of this waste is plastic, and surprisingly, most of that waste is free of contamination, reports Roseann Salasin, global marketing director, DuPont Medical and Pharmaceutical Protection. “The potential for recycling, therefore, is significant,” she says. “Not only do hospitals have an opportunity to lower their environmental impact and their costs, but they also have an opportunity to enable healthy communities.”
In an effort to encourage recycling, DuPont has joined seven other leaders in healthcare, recycling, and waste management industries to form the Healthcare Plastics Recycling Council (HPRC). Member companies include Becton, Dickinson and Company, Cardinal Health, Engineered Plastics, DuPont, Hospira, Johnson & Johnson, Kimberly Clark, and Waste Management.
Aware that plastics make up a significant amount of the medical waste stream, the coalition came together in 2009 to find a better way to handle that waste, explains Alison Trauley, consultant, HPRC Communications, Antea Group, which is assisting HPRC. “We wanted to understand what was happening within the value chain that was disabling recycling. We found several barriers to recycling plastic.”