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GreenCycl – a circular solution for medical waste

Sterilisation, recycling and reuse

The healthcare industry is responsible for 8% of all carbon emissions in the Netherlands. The industry is eager to become more sustainable, but lacks the knowledge, time and resources to do so. GreenCycl, part of Van Straten Medical, aims to help hospitals and larger clinics with operating theatres become more sustainable.

The start of our collaboration

'Our ambition is to change the mindset so that we no longer throw everything away,' explains Bart van Straten, member of the Board of Directors at Van Straten Medical. 'The resources we use are finite, so we will have to change things. In addition, the raw materials are already in circulation, so we just need to learn how to reuse them.'

This ambition held by Van Straten matches particularly well with Renewi's vision ‘waste no more'. Towards the end of 2019, GreenCycl met Renewi for the first time at a meeting about the Sustainable Care Green Deal in Rotterdam. Following the outbreak of Covid-19, there was a rapid follow-up intended to devise a solution for the reuse of face masks.

Successful pilots and positive insights

A number of pilots were then launched in liaison with Renewi and certain hospitals, to look at recycling disposables as well as reusable instruments – including the blue plastic cloths that are supplied wrapped around sterilised instruments. These can be processed into high-quality circular plastics.

In these pilots, Renewi handles the collection of used instruments and materials, then transports them to Van Straten Medical. Here, GreenCycl handles all sterilisation and recycles them into new healthcare products. This is how we jointly complete the circle.

One thing that the pilots have demonstrated is that it is possible to return 85% of surgical instruments to as-new condition. In addition to helping to save raw materials, recycling also provides huge cost savings. Joost van der Sijp, oncological surgeon and co-initiator of GreenCycl explains, ‘other hospitals are keen to participate. They are really keen to become more sustainable.’


Share your innovative idea with Renewi

Are you or is your organisation interested in circularity AND in developing an innovation? Do you want to put your innovation into practice on a commercial scale? If so, please contact Renewi today. We would love to hear from you.

Contact our innovation team