Within the medical industry the possibilities for recycling and re-processing are more extensive than you might initially have believed. One of the primary materials used in hospitals around the world is PVC (polyvinyl chloride), sometimes known as ‘vinyl’. Both for medical products and for hospital interiors, the extensive benefits of PVC, such as being easily sterilisable, shock-resistant and durable, and its low production cost have made it the ideal material for the healthcare industry.
PVC is also an ideal material to recover due to being a consistent, high quality single plastic, rather than a multi-layered composite plastic. A number of PVC-based medical products can be safely recycled and reprocessed and remade into hoses for fire extinguishers, gardens and industry. It is estimated that a 300 bed hospital could easily recycle around 2.5 tonnes of these quality PVC products each year, rather than using virgin PVC compounds in new products.
The Circular Economy Package, recently published by the European Commission with the purpose of stimulating the EU’s transition towards maintaining the value of products and materials for as long as possible. To do this, it is necessary to keep waste to an absolute minimum and to reuse and recycle all possible resources.
PVCMed believes that the implementation of a sustainable circular economy will benefit the environment, but not only. It will also make important economic savings for states and businesses, while creating thousands of jobs across the Union.
PVC recovery is already in place in Australia, the UK and South Africa, and is set to be rolled out at a larger scale in these countries and in many more locations worldwide. The recycling of PVC is not only necessary for the environment, but also massive economic savings are to be made by recycling and re-usage in smart ways. PVC is too valuable of a material to be left unrecovered.