Engagement, Sustainability, Recycling, Circular Economy

Project for waste separation in hospitals

06/07/2023 | 2 min read
Stephan Laske

Hospitals generate a lot of waste - more than 6,000 tons annually at the sites of OÖG regional clinics and at Kepler University Hospital in Linz, Austria. At the Upper Austrian regional clinics alone, 90 tons of this is generated by plastic packaging, such as packaging for sterile disposable products.

The funded HospiCycle project set itself the goal of utilizing this enormous potential to develop new plastic cycles. In cooperation with the Oberösterreichische Gesundheitsholding (Upper Austrian Health Holding) and the partners Greiner Packaging, the Transfer Center for Plastics Technology and the recycler Walter Kunststoffe, and with the support of Altstoff Recycling Austria (ARA) and the plastics and medical technology clusters, a new, hospital-specific waste concept was developed. The goal was to enable plastic waste in hospitals to be separated and subsequently recycled in the future.

The HospiCycle project thus opens up an area that has received little attention in recycling to date. It was possible to define groups of articles from hospital-specific plastic waste that are suitable for separate recycling into material of high purity and quality. The new collection concept for these plastic items, which does not significantly hinder hospital operations, allows this waste to be collected by type and contributes to an increase in the recycling rate.

HospiCycle has shown that it is possible to recycle plastics from hospital waste. The cooperation of all stakeholders was instrumental in this project's success. In order for the pilot project to turn into something sustainable and lasting, we are looking for more partners/hospitals to join in!

Stephan Laske, Global Director R&D at Greiner Packaging

The project and its measures were presented at a press conference in Linz on July 5.

Photo credt: Land OÖ / Daniel Kauder

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