Medical Recycling

Local company Baxter Healthcare is leading the way in sustainability by recycling PVC IVF fluid bags which are being turned into gumboots and garden hoses.

At the moment about 200 hospitals are part of the recycling scheme and Baxter Healthcare hopes more will get involved.

Nurses at the hospitals collect the used IV bags, return them to Baxter, where they are stripped, cleaned and flaked back into plastic.

The flaked plastic is then sent to a boot factory where they are made into gumboots and another factory where they are used to make residential garden hose.

Federal Environment Minister Sussan Ley visited the company’s Toongabbie operations last week and joined Federal Member for Mitchell Alex Hawke for a tour by General Manager Steven Flynn.

“We have made it clear that industry needs to take action for their waste. Initiatives like Baxter’s which sees close to 140 tonnes of PVC IV bags recycled every year is a shining example of industry taking responsibility for their products, while also making a practical environmental difference,” she said.

“Plastic litter takes hundreds of years to breakdown in the environment and when it does, it turns into harmful microplastics which have a disastrous effect on the environment and the marine environment.”

Mr Hawke said: “Baxter medical is the only company in Australia that makes PVC IV bags for hospitals and dialysis bags for home use. In a factory the size of four football fields, they produce the bags and the IV fluids. ,

“Baxter Healthcare states that at least 20km of garden hose is made just from their recycled IV bags. An average 300 bed hospital will return 2.5 tonnes of the PVC IV bags every year. These bags would otherwise go into landfill.”

“This is a great local initiative and I hope more public and private hospitals will get on board.


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