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Johnson & Johnson, WM, Six Others Start Medical Recycling Coalition

Kimberly-Clark, Johnson & Johnson and Waste Management are among the companies founding a technical coalition to develop recycling and packaging innovations for medical products.

Founders of the Healthcare Plastics Recycling Council (HPRC) also include DuPont, Cardinal Health, Hospira, Engineered Plastics and Becton, Dickinson and Company. Its membership includes representatives from the healthcare, recycling and waste management industries.

The coalition will seek to increase the overall recycling of healthcare plastics. The founders say the coalition is unique in its focus on identifying barriers and solutions to plastics recycling along the entire value chain, from product design and manufacturing through use and disposal.

HPRC has three ongoing initiatives aimed at enabling recycling of select plastics. The first initiative, called healthcare plastics value chain mapping, is focused on defining the healthcare value chain and identifying issues and barriers along that chain that prevent plastics recycling.

The second initiative will develop a document outlining product and packaging design considerations that could enhance recycling potential and value. The third initiative, a pilot study of programs within healthcare facilities, is focused on building a data model to facilitate economic analysis of plastics recycling.

The council will convene biannually at meetings that will include tours of member facilities.

National manufacturers would have to pay for the collection and disposal of medical needles and syringes, among other products, under a bill proposed in the Rhode Island legislature.

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