RecoMed

PVC take-back scheme for single-use medical devices

RecoMed collection scheme

Products

Single-use PVC medical devices such as oxygen masks and tubing.

Goals

To recover high quality plastics, keep devices out of landfill, and cut disposal costs.

Scheme partners

Vinyl Plus (the voluntary sustainable development programme of the European PVC industry) and the British Plastics Federation.

Scheme overview

A PVC take-back scheme for single-use medical devices (the first such scheme in Europe). Participating hospitals save money on disposal costs by putting devices into recycling containers for collection rather than sending them for incineration or specialist landfill.  Material is then recycled into new products including tree ties.

Our services

Overall scheme management, including:

  • Liaising with recyclers
  • Registering scheme participants
  • Bins and bin collection
  • Promotional material
  • Hospital staff training and support.

Successes

This scheme is a pioneer scheme, with evidence so far suggesting that around 2,250 tonnes of PVC could be recycled by collecting oxygen masks, oxygen tubing and anaesthetic masks alone. Recomed won the Innovyn 2016 sustainability award, the 2017 National Recycling Award for waste prevention and the 2017 CIWM Sustainability and Resources Award for best recycling project. We’re now exploring what other medical plastic devices could be recycled.