As the generation of single use disposable plastic wastes increases within the healthcare sector, its handling and treatment is increasingly becoming a more serious economic and environmental issue. The continual increase in waste is forcing the Government, healthcare providers and the related facilities management companies to actively explore alternative ways to effectively utilize the generated hospital plastic waste.
Currently, the majority of this waste is either landfilled or incinerated, costing anything up to £1000 per ton to a hospital, depending upon the level of contamination. With more than 600,000 tons of industrial and plastic waste to deal with each year, the NHS is actively seeking to reduce the volume of plastic used and find a more sustainable circular solution to prevent landfilling and/or incineration of plastic and hence enabling cost savings and sustainable environmental improvements.
Single use plastic polypropylene disposable curtains (SMS – Spunbound, Meltblown, Spunbound) are fast becoming a more reliable replacement for patient privacy in wards, around beds, examination cubicles and windows. By switching to single use it removes the high cost of energy needed for washing and the high energy cost of detergent treatment for the older linen material curtains. The older polyester type materials have also been heavily linked with plastic micro particles found in rivers and oceans
Following on from the successful launch and sales of its innovative ‘Sterimelt’ for the recovery and recycling of single use disposable plastic tray wraps, drapes and blue patient transfer sheets, Thermal Compaction Group (TCG), are commercialising its latest innovative point-of-origin thermal compaction machine, Curtainmelt.
Curtainmelt will recycle all hospital and healthcare single use plastic disposable ward, bed, window and cubicle curtains by converting them into solid briquettes for recovery and reuse in the plastic manufacturing supply chain, a true circular economy event. The recovered plastic can be used to manufacture kidney trays, containers or even 3D printer filament.
To further enhance the release of the new Curtainmelt, TCG have created a formidable collaborative partnership with North East plastic recovery company “Re-Worked”. The partnership will recover mixed recyclable plastics and P.P.E. along with more of the true ‘end-of-life’ plastics that would normally find its way to landfills or energy from waste facilities, where the resource would be lost completely. Re-Worked manufactures boards and materials that can be used for construction projects and outdoor furniture materials amongst many other products.
Curtainmelt will not only divert large amounts of plastic waste away from landfill and/or incineration, but it will also significantly reduce the carbon footprint and costs created by transporting this very lightweight and space hungry material (80-90% reduced volume), thus supporting the NHS Net Zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 goals and climate emergency protocols.
TCG are the ONLY COMPANY GLOBALLY, with a circular economy point-of-origin recycling and recovery solution for single use disposable plastic hospital waste. Curtainmelt will provide an option to enable UK healthcare providers to deal effectively with their single use plastic waste-streams (e.g. Infectious/chemically-treated/uncontaminated) in a single process. This will widen TCG’s solution’s appeal to public hospitals, private hospitals, clinics, nursing homes and research centres across the globe.
Curtainmelt will immediately negate the requirement for landfill or incineration and current non-circular standard practices offered by large waste disposal management franchises which contribute to high traffic volumes, handling costs, increased carbon footprint and negative environmental impacts.
TCG’s technical and commercial teams have won multiple national awards and have successfully developed and commercialised three relevant technologies in the healthcare sector.