Sirris helps recycle hospitals’ baby feeding bottles

It is estimated that about 10 million baby feeding bottles - good for more than 410 tons of high-quality plastics - are discarded after use every year in Belgian hospitals. That is why the University Hospital at Leuven is running a pilot project to recycle the bottles into new products. Sirris is also participating in this project.

Currently, sterile plastic bottles for baby food are discarded after a single use and burned. This can be done more sustainably, and that is why Sirris, acting with the support of the Fund for Sustainable Materials and Energy Management and by working together with the most important stakeholders at technical, logistical, social and legal level, is running a pilot project to recycle this large flow of materials: 'Baby Bottle Reborn'. The obstacles to the recovery of these materials were identified and a plan of action was developed.

The other stakeholders (interested parties) in this project included the waste processing companies, logistic partners and manufacturers of these disposable items. To recycle this materials stream, all the players in the materials chain have to work together in such a way that all of them benefit.

However, recycling the bottle material turned out to be much more complex than originally thought, and, one by one, regulatory, logistical, organisational and processing problems had to be solved.

The project is now coming to an end. When it finishes, the methodology and results can be used throughout Belgium to set up similar projects. This collaboration and the plan of action could also be applied to other material flows in the healthcare sector.

Read the full story here (in Dutch).