PVC Recycling in Hospitals, a successful waste management program for the medical industry managed by the Vinyl Council of Australia remains unaffected by the recent Chinese ban on unsorted waste materials.

Over the past 12 months, the program has helped recycle almost 200 tonnes of PVC waste from hospitals, which would have otherwise ended up in landfill. The program covers more than 130 hospitals throughout Australia and New Zealand.

China had recently introduced the National Sword ban on imported waste materials. However, this ban on unsorted waste has not affected the Vinyl Council’s recycling program.

Vinyl Council Chief Executive Sophi MacMillan states: “At a time when residential recycling programs are under enormous pressure due to significant changes to waste management policies in China and its decision to restrict the importation of unsorted waste from other countries, the Vinyl Council confirms its PVC Recycling in Hospitals program remains unaffected by changes in international waste management strategies.

“We are proud that our flourishing industry program continues to lead by example as a local, innovative waste management and recycling program that is going from strength to strength.”

Managed by the Vinyl Council of Australia and its member partners, Baxter Healthcare, Aces Medical Waste and Welvic Australia, the PVC Recycling in Hospitals program redirects high-grade PVC waste from hospitals to re-processors in Australia. The recycled polymer is used by Australian and New Zealand manufacturers in new goods, such as garden hoses and outdoor playground matting.

Welvic has invested significantly in modern recycling equipment and created six new jobs at its PVC compounding plant in Victoria, Australia. Baxter Healthcare, a hospital IV fluids bags manufacturer, has also invested in education and training in the healthcare sector and provides logistics support.

According to Vinyl Council Chief Executive Sophi MacMillan, the PVC Recycling in Hospitals program remains strong and unaffected by China’s ban on unsorted materials. All the medical waste collected under the program continues to be reprocessed and used in Australia or New Zealand. The support from the local vinyl manufacturing industry and the healthcare sector as product consumers is a clear demonstration that circularity within Australia can work, she added.

The Vinyl Council is calling on other industries and manufacturers to support the program and strengthen the local recycling industry.