The coronavirus pandemic has shown just how essential plastic is in the healthcare sector. But the growing use of plastic-based medical devices and PPE has also led to mountains of hospital waste, which has caused a backlash against polymers. How do we solve the waste challenge? Can recycling be part of the solution?
On 2 December 2020, PVCMed Alliance Project Manager Ole Grøndahl Hansen spoke about this topic at the online conference Plastic in the Medical Device Industry arranged by the Danish Academy of Technical Sciences.
In his presentation Ole Grøndahl Hansen started with an overview of the use of plastics in healthcare and highlighted that PVC is market leader with a share of 40%. He showed how new PVC applications have helped in the fight against coronavirus, as well as the backside of growing waste amounts. He then proposed to look at recycling if reuse is not possible. Recycling is already in place for PVC-based medical devices in eight countries around the world. Barriers related to contamination must be surmounted, but studies show that a quarantine period of at least 7 days would be enough to kill the virus.