A partnership turns single-use plastic into valuable new products.
A Bevan Exemplar collaboration between Aneurin Bevan University Health Board and theThermal Compaction Group(TCG) introduced TCG’s recycling technology Sterimelt to local hospitals. The application of this patented technology was the first of its kind for healthcare recycling.
From trash to treasure
Single-plastic usage is a major environmental challenge worldwide. For hospitals, the challenge to maintain sterile wards through single-plastic sheeting is both environmental and financial – as removing and recycling this waste inevitably costs money.
The initiative turns hospital plastic waste (such as clinical wrap) into polypropylene blocks that have commercial value and can be used to develop new products. As a result, recycling (which costs hospitals money) is transformed into a revenue stream.
Thomas Davidson-Sebry, TCG Ltd, explains: “We take the materials and thermally compact them by introducing heating and cooling, which also reduces their volume. If you had 26 tonnes of polystyrene, you would need a lot of lorries to transport it – so we reduce the transport costs associated with recycling. The saving generated, just for transport, is phenomenal.”
The innovative project has picked up several industry awards, including a South Wales Business award under Success through Innovation and a NHS Sustainability award for Innovation (through Aneurin Bevan University Health Board).