VinylPlus® Med Accelerates Sustainability in Healthcare

VinylPlus® has launched a new collaborative project called VinylPlus® Med. Aimed at accelerating sustainability in healthcare across Europe through the recycling of discarded single-use PVC medical devices, the project brings together hospitals, waste managers, recyclers and the PVC industry.

COVID-19 has highlighted the crucial role played by single-use plastic medical devices in the prevention and control of infection in hospitals. The surge in the need of such disposable items has shed  light on the challenges of properly managing and discarding them after use. Properly sorting and recycling the non-infectious plastic waste can both significantly reduce the environmental impact of hospitals and their operational cost.

VinylPlus helps hospitals sort their PVC medical waste stream

PVC is the most common plastic used in life-saving disposable medical devices including oxygen and anaesthetic masks, tubing, IV and dialysis bags. Many of these devices, used once with no contact with patients or in contact for a short period of time on non-infectious patients, can be recycled.

Building on the success of the VinylPlus-funded RecoMed recycling scheme, VinylPlus® Med is developing a recycling scheme for single-use PVC medical devices in Belgium to help hospitals sort their PVC medical waste stream. The scheme, launched in October 2021, focuses on clean and REACH-compliant PVC waste that can be recycled into a wide range of value products marketed across Europe.

In partnership with the Europe Hospitals, the high-quality PVC waste of various departments will be collected and recycled. Most of this waste has not been in contact with patients.

The project also partners with Raff Plastics as the recycler and Renewi as the waste management company. All Belgian VinylPlus® Med partners are located within a radius of 120 km, to minimise transport distances and thus mitigate carbon footprint.

A growing network

Interest for VinylPlus Med is growing in the Belgian healthcare community. 6 hospitals are currently part of the PVC recycling programme and 36 are on the waiting list to join. Discover more in the map below.

A decade of medical PVC recycling

Already today, PVC medical devices are recycled in eight countries around the world. It started in Australia in 2009 and has spread to over 200 hospitals and health clinics in New Zealand, UK, South Africa, Canada, Guatemala, Colombia and Thailand. The clean, high-grade recyclate is turned into useful products. In South Africa, IV bags become school shoes that enable education for impoverished children. In Australia, the recyclate is used for industrial and garden hoses and ergonomic mats that improve the work environment. Read more about medical PVC recycling on at PVCMed Alliance.

Our Partners

Raff Plastics, being ISO 9001 and EucertPlast certified, has pioneered high-quality recycling of PVC in Belgium since 1981 and produces 50000 tonnes of plastic recyclate each year.

“For a recycling company such as RAFF Plastics, projects like VinylPlus® Med are important as we assume that everything starts with a good collection. There are unfortunately still many materials that could be recycled but, due to unfavourable circumstances, are sent to landfill or incineration. Such a project makes sure that everyone becomes aware and committed to working together to the renewal of raw materials.” – Caroline Van der Perre and Christophe Dehouck, Owners, Raff Plastics.

As a pure-play recycling company, Renewi‘s focus is exclusively on extracting value from waste (or end-of-life materials) rather than incineration or landfill. This approach meets both societal and legal trends and provides the most efficient solution for recycling end-of-life materials. By playing the recycling card, Renewi avoids the emission of more than 3 million tons of CO2 and contributes to reducing the scarcity of raw materials. Renewi employs more than 6,500 people and is recognized as market leader in the Benelux. His vision is to be the leading waste-to-product company in the world’s most advanced circular economies.


For additional information, contact Vincent Stone, Project Leader, VinylPlus® Med

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