Together for more sustainability in healthcare
In Zwolle, the Netherlands, the Circular Economy Week took place from 07 to 12 February 2023 with a focus on:
– how do circular economy and
– sustainability work in practice?
The Ministry of Infrastructure and Water economy organized the event, which recently published the National Programme for Circular Economy 2023-2030.
A kick off conference from the Circular Economy and Plastics Working Group of the National Network of Green Councils, in which Vanguard’s Business Developer Henry Kuper is also active, took place on the 6th of February. The focus of the conference was the debate on how modern Single-Use-Devices (so-called SUDs) can be reprocessed in the operating theatre and make them recyclable. In order to promote sustainability in healthcare, various aspects of the Circularity Ladder were highlighted, for example:
– the abdication of resources (whenever and wherever possible),
– the development and procurement of reusable materials,
– the reprocessing of SUDs,
– the reuse of SUDs, and
– recycling of individual parts.
The challenges that can come with the sustainable use of tools in healthcare – such as bottlenecks on the way to reuse – were also discussed. Constructive and promising solutions were developed during several sessions in the conference. For example, reprocessed single-use products could be considered at the legislative level, which would no longer requires CE certifications for reprocessed instruments. In the sense of a sustainable health system, measures were intensively discussed at all levels. Thematically, a broad field was covered: from waste disposal to infection prevention to tool production.
What emerged was an appeal to the original manufacturers’ sense of responsibility. Because taking customer demands and requirements into account as well as adapting product designs are other important measures. Procurement requirements should also be reconsidered with regards to sustainability.
All in all, the working group was able to work out promising approaches. This calls for another round table in the following year.