Packaging specialist Amcor Ltd. has joined the Healthcare Packaging Recycling Council (HPRC), a coalition of industry peers across health care, recycling and waste management, seeking to improve recycling of plastic products within health care. The company will contribute its extensive expertise in packaging design for medical devices and applications in hospitals and other treatment settings.
While the potential for recycling medical device packaging is huge, various obstacles, including current packaging designs and the practical considerations of recycling segregation systems, are standing in the way of implementation, the group says. Yet as sustainability requirements for packaging increase, the health care industry will have to find solutions in order to take advantage of this waste stream, while continuing to ensure product protection and patient safety.
According to Amcor, the health care industry poses a "unique" recycling opportunity. The company, with its global experience in developing more easily recyclable packaging, shares HPRC’s vision of improving recycling rates of healthcare plastics, commented David Clark, vice president sustainability, Amcor.
In January 2018, Melbourne, Australia-based Amcor became the first global packaging company pledging to develop all its packaging to be recyclable or reusable by 2025. Close collaboration with organizations like HPRC, as well as the Ellen MacArthur Foundation and A Circular Economy for Flexible Packaging (CEFLEX), helps to achieve that goal and increase the rates of recycling across all industries to advance a circular economy.