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Alliance to investigate Swedish system for recycling medical PVC

By: PLASTICS & RUBBER WEEKLY

July 16, 2013

PVCMed, an alliance of PVC suppliers to the healthcare sector, is backing a Swedish pilot scheme that will investigate how best to establish a management system for medical plastic waste.

According to the organization, "a vast quantity of plastics from healthcare" is needlessly wasted — something that the Swedish scheme will help tackle.

"Plastic is a valuable material. Smart recycling not only benefits the environment, but can also be beneficial for both healthcare and recycling businesses," said Ole Grøndahl Hansen of the PVCMed Alliance.

The scheme will be run in a partnership between PVCMed, the Swedish Environmental Institute, Swedish Regional and County Councils, waste companies, research institutes and chemical companies.

"A major challenge is to develop the waste separation system in order to increase plastics recycling without disrupting the hospitals' daily work. The recycling of medical plastics must be done in a way that does not increase hygienic risks", said Kristian Hemström, project leader at the Stockholm County Council.

The healthcare sector has made big strides in medical waste management, said PVCMed in a statement. The challenge is to increase the quality of the sorting of the waste that can be used for recycling, it added.