Vinyl Institute of Canada starts medical PVC recycling pilot partnership

The pilot partnership is partnering with two Toronto hospitals to recycle medical PVC scrap.

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September 14, 2020

The Vinyl Institute of Canada, Toronto, has launched PVC 123, a medical polyvinyl chloride (PVC) recycling pilot partnership. The pilot received funding support from Environment and Climate Change Canada and the Vinyl Institute of Canada.

According to a news release from the Vinyl Institute of Canada, the pilot aims to divert products from landfills and encourage the recycling of PVC medical devices in hospitals. Hospital operating rooms, which produce high volumes of IV bags, oxygen masks and oxygen tubing waste, will collect PVC materials that can be remanufactured into new products.

The Vinyl Institute of Canada says two Toronto hospitals—St. Joseph’s Health Centre and Humber River—will provide PVC scrap for the new partnership. Collection for the pilot will take place Sept. 15 to March 31, 2021. Additional hospitals are expected to join the program this year.

“Life-saving devices are made from PVC,” says Aiñe Curran, president and CEO of the Vinyl Institute of Canada. “Our industry has been recycling since the 1980s, and we are excited to add hospitals to our growing list of recyclers in Canada.”

“As health care providers, it is our duty to mitigate environmental impact of health care provision,” says Dr. Ali Abbass, a St. Joseph’s anesthesiologist who has been recycling PVC devices for several years.

Norwich Plastics, a PVC recycler based in Cambridge, Ontario, will manage the logistics of the collected materials and their conversion into new products, such as hoses, tubing, automotive supplies and sound-dampening products.

“Vinyl’s straightforward recyclability is important to this project, and we expect to divert at least 80,000 pounds of recyclable PVC from landfills from this pilot,” says Tribu Persaud of Norwich Plastics. “Vinyl is a multitasking material—it’s valuable, functional and durable, which makes it a perfect resource for recycling.”

In addition, Laurie Thomas, director of the Perioperative and Endoscopy programs at Humber River, will outfit 20 operating rooms and five endoscopy suites as well as the Post Anesthetic Care Unit and Surgical Day Care with PVC collection receptacles.