Medical devices take-back scheme wins award


Axion’s Jane Gardner collects the award at a ceremony coinciding with the K2016 plastics and rubber show in Dusseldorf in October.

RecoMed, the PVC medical devices take-back scheme, has won an award in the Sustainability category of the 2016 INOVYN Awards, recognising its innovative approach to recycling.

Set up in 2014, RecoMed supplies recycling containers, communication materials and collections to participating NHS and private hospitals. The scheme is run by project partners Axion Consulting, a resource recovery specialist, and the British Plastics Federation (BPF).

Funded by VinylPlus, the voluntary sustainable development programme of the European PVC industry, the scheme provides an alternative, sustainable disposal route for waste medical items made from high-quality medical grade PVC.

Collecting the award at a ceremony coinciding with the K2016 plastics and rubber show in Dusseldorf in October on behalf of Axion and the BPF, Axion’s Principal Consultant Jane Gardner said: “We’re delighted and very proud to win this award, which recognises the tremendous achievements of all participants and hospitals in recycling plastics from the medical waste stream.”

“RecoMed is gaining interest and growing all the time. We are particularly impressed with the enthusiasm and commitment of clinicians without whom this scheme would not be possible,” she added.

Philip Law, Director General of the BPF said: “RecoMed is helping to extend the already impressive list of sustainability credentials underpinning PVC. Not only does it spotlight the efficient use of resources, it is also helping participating hospitals to save cash at a difficult point for the NHS. Plastics are very widely used throughout the health service and RecoMed is a pioneer not just for PVC but for other plastics as well.”

In 2015, RecoMed’s excellence in sustainability was recognised with the 2015 Association for Anaesthetic and Respiratory Device Suppliers (Barema) and the Association of Anaesthetists of Great Britain and Ireland (AAGBI) Environment Award.

It is estimated that up to 2,250 tonnes of PVC could be recycled by collecting items, such as anaesthetic facemasks, oxygen masks and associated tubing, from UK hospitals. Nine hospitals are currently taking part in RecoMed with more expected to join in coming months.

Participating hospitals save money on waste disposal costs by recycling non-infectious PVC medical items instead of sending them to clinical waste steams which are either incinerated or sent to specialist landfill sites.

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