Imperial College Healthcare launches new initiative to recycle discarded PPE into new NHS products

Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust has launched a new initiative to recycle ‘millions’ of discarded PPE into products for the NHS, such as operating theatre clogs, plastic bed pans, medical scrubs and prosthetic finger joints. 

The new sustainability scheme – developed in collaboration with the trust, Imperial Health Charity and PPE manufacturer Globus Group – will focus on the method by which used single-use plastic face masks can be efficiently collected across the trust’s five hospital sites.  

Additionally, the initiative, co-funded by Globus Group and Imperial Health Charity, will evaluate the potential for the plastic materials to be processed and the raw materials recycled and repurposed into new products fit for NHS use.  

Dr Bob Klaber, Director of Strategy, Research & Innovation, Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust said of the new recycling initiative: “This partnership with Globus Group is one of the first to address the growing issue of plastic waste in hospitals across the NHS, arising from the Covid-19 pandemic. With increased PPE usage becoming the new normal in hospital settings, managing waste is a problem that isn’t going away.  

“It’s more important than ever that across healthcare we’re doing everything we can to reduce our environmental impact. The project will explore the feasibility of efficiently collecting and recycling masks used in our hospitals.”

Haraldur Agustsson, CEO, Globus Group, added: “As a longstanding and trusted manufacturing partner to the NHS, we’re standing shoulder-to-shoulder with colleagues to deliver the sustainable, net zero future we all want to see. Innovation is baked into the Globus DNA and we’re proud that this collaboration marks another positive step in the growing issue of PPE waste. 

“Sustainability, environmentally green materials and recycling projects to deliver a circular economy approach sit at the heart of Globus’ future strategy and we’re proud to be working with Imperial on this project.”