Plastics Recycling Guide for Hospitals Available for Continuing Education Credit

Plastics Recycling Guide

Developed by the Healthcare Plastics Recycling Council as a compliment to its HospiCycle tool, and sponsored for continuing education credit by Pfiedler Enterprises, A Plastic Recycling Guide for Hospitals is intended to assist hospitals in navigating the process of initiating a plastics recycling program in a patient care setting. The Guide addresses the economic, regulatory, resourcing and infrastructure considerations of activating a plastics recycling program in a hospital, from initial planning and business decisions through program implementation and improvement. The focus of the Guide is on clean, non-infectious plastic waste materials, as this stream can represent up to 25 percent of a hospitals total waste.

“While hospitals have been champions of recycling for decades, efforts have largely focused on food service and administrative functions. The challenge that hospitals are facing now is how to successfully integrate recycling practices into patient care,” says Tod Christenson, Director of HPRC. “This Guide serves as a comprehensive ‘how-to’ for hospitals seeking to advance their sustainability program by recycling plastic product and packaging waste generated in their facilities.”

“The best way to gain the full value of a recycling program is through a disciplined approach that builds to encompass all possible materials,” says Jane Hart, Health Care Global Sustainability Leader, Kimberly-Clark. “This accredited education program is a perfect tool to help build awareness and alignment for the creation of a recycling initiative, while simultaneously helping nurses and other hospital employees meet credentialing needs.”

A Plastic Recycling Guide for Hospitals can be found at

Topics covered in the Guide include how to develop a business case and evaluate financial impacts of program implementation, how to conduct a waste characterization and select an optimal recycling strategy, how to find a recycling partner and assess critical infrastructure requirements, and how to establish metrics and auditing guidelines to drive program improvements. Content is based on the collaborative experience and technical knowledge of HPRC members along with data, lessons learned and key insights from plastic waste pilot study work conducted with Stanford University Medical Center and Kaiser Permanente, who serve in an advisory role to HPRC.

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