Around 18% of the solid waste produced by Aarhus University Hospital originates from clean plastic packaging, totaling approximately 400 tonnes annually, of which only 7 tonnes are recycled. 

Part of this problem can be attributed to a need for universal manufacturing standards for plastic packaging; furthermore, many waste management facilities are reluctant to work with hospital plastic waste because of the complex and varied compositions of the plastic. There are also concerns that hospital waste may contain contaminated and/or infectious material.

The hospital started working with suppliers to overcome the reluctance and concerns surrounding health care plastic recycling. Bottles used for irrigation fluids were chosen as a baseline product since hospitals use them frequently on a daily basis, and they are a relatively simple product.

Learn about the pilot project Circular Solutions in Healthcare Plastics implemented by Aarhus University Hospital.


About SHiPP

The Sustainable Health in Procurement Project (SHiPP) was a four-year program developed by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in collaboration with Health Care Without Harm and funded by the Swedish International Development and Cooperation Agency (SIDA), that aimed to reduce the harm to people and the environment caused by the manufacture, use, and disposal of medical products and by the implementation of health programs.

With an expansive and diverse network of over 1,700 members in more than 80 countries, GGHH was a key vehicle to engage the health sector around the globe on sustainable procurement through the Sustainable Health in Procurement Project (SHiPP). 

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