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Healthcare Plastics Recycling: Tackling the Scalability Problem

HPRC has learned a lot over the past few years: high quality plastics are available (primarily PP and HPDE) for reuse in the healthcare industry, there is passion among stakeholders to divert this material away from the landfills, and there is a need and an opportunity for economic value creation if we can scale-up efforts to captures these plastic resources.

This presentation, from the 2016 ReFocus Conference, discusses the efforts underway to demonstrate economic viability, and shares insights gained from our work on the Chicago Regional pilot project. The question today is, "how do we scale up our efforts to really make a difference?" and this is exactly the question the Chicago project is working to answer.

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Healthcare Plastics Recycling: Tackling the Scalability Problem

  1. 1. The Opportunity with Healthcare Plastic Resources
  2. 2. Over 5,000 US Hospitals 5.9 Million Tons of Waste per Year 1.2 Million Tons of Clean Plastics Available
  3. 3. Easy to identify products …
  4. 4. High quality materials … PP PP, PET, PETG, PS PP or PVC“Blue Wrap” PP PP, PET, HDPE Tyvek® (HDPE) with PP Tray
  5. 5. “One hospital doesn’t generate enough bales to make a business…” The dilemma …
  6. 6. Differing Priorities  Existing Contractual arrangements  Dynamic plastics Market Varying models of Recycling Current situation in waste management…
  7. 7. Chicago Demonstration Project Testing for a solution … Multi-hospital plastics recycling project in Chicago Demonstrate a viable business model for recycling healthcare plastics. Target is to recycle 100 tons of plastics over next 12 months
  8. 8. Chicago Demonstration Project Participants from across the value chain … Hospitals Waste Services, Recyclers End-Users and Service Providers Project Sponsors:
  9. 9. Effectively extracting materials from current processes Immature infrastructure; demand pull will be led by the entrepreneurs Getting all stakeholders to raise their hand! Challenges that still need solution What have we learned in scaling our efforts?
  10. 10. What have we learned in scaling our efforts? Sorting creates the real value Longer-term thinkers needed Recycler needs to collaborate with hospital to set up recovery systems Hospital needs to be motivated to act
  11. 11. Next Steps!
  12. 12. Questions?