Packaging, PPE and surgical supplies: How COVID-19 is pushing hospitals to reduce waste

via Supply Chain Dive

cquiring enough personal protective equipment and supplies to test for and treat COVID-19 in the United States was a major challenge in 2020. With case numbers rising and vaccines rolling out, managing supplies and reducing waste continues as a huge issue this year.

Isolation gowns, gloves, masks, needles, syringes and vials discarded after use: some waste is inevitable, but supply chain leaders are finding ways to reduce the quantity, reusing and recycling when possible and adjusting procurement and packaging to help the environment and sometimes their bottom line.

Read the full story here: https://www.supplychaindive.com/news/packaging-ppe-surgical-supplies-covid-19-waste/593179/

MRF Summit: Despite pandemic setbacks, 2020 shows bright spots for recycling

via WasteDive

Contamination, automation, globalization and federal engagement were all hot topics at last week’s 2020 MRF Summit, a joint virtual conference hosted by the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI) and Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA).

Despite the many pandemic- and economy-related challenges the industry has faced this year, SWANA CEO David Biderman highlighted numerous reasons for optimism and embracing opportunities. “The value of the recovered materials coming out of the back of a MRF is about double what it was at the start of year,” he said.

Read the full story here: https://www.wastedive.com/news/mrf-summit-2020-recycling-robotics-pandemic-basel/589533/

COVID-19 is forcing us to rethink our plastic problem

via World Economic Forum

  • The global demand for PPE has caused a concurrent uptick in demand for single-use plastics.
  • As lockdowns are lifted, we may find our reliance on plastic has increased.
  • Companies and governments now have an even more urgent – and tricky – responsibility to transition to a circular economy.

Economic uncertainties and risks of a second wave of COVID-19 might impose significant limitations on waste services. With the pandemic contributing to increased plastic use in healthcare, and large volumes of waste being unfit for recycling due to potential biohazards, medical plastic waste could grow at an unprecedented scale. A similar situation might arise in the food industry and other services that had previously decided to temporally limit reusables. The disrupted waste management and recycling sector would also take some time to recover and would not be able to effectively handle massive volumes of post-pandemic plastic.

Read the full story here: https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2020/05/covid-19-is-forcing-us-to-rethink-our-plastic-problem/

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