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Johnson & Johnson sets new standards for recycling processes in swiss hospitals


The recycling project launched by Johnson & Johnson MedTech in Swiss hospitals has met with a positive response! Since the start of the project in April 2021, over 54,000 single-use medical instruments have been recycled. Six tons of material were collected from 16 hospitals. In 2023, nearly 800 kilograms of aluminum welded film were collected from around 27 hospitals.

Two years ago, Johnson & Johnson launched the recycling concept together with the Lindenhof Group. This initiative concentrates on the return of valuable materials from operating theaters to the material cycle and helps Swiss hospitals minimize their waste.

And how does the recycling process work in practice?
The medical instruments are collected in a special box via the existing transport channel, decontaminated and dismantled into up to 50 individual parts. Careful workmanship is the key, because the instruments contain high-quality materials such as medical steel or pure plastic. By analyzing all single-use J&J instruments for their “recyclability”, a reusability quota of up to 70-80% can be reached. Special emphasis is placed on the fact that recycling takes place in Switzerland and thus short transport routes are maintained.

By the end of 2023, it was possible to return 54,600 single-use medical instruments to the resource stream. As part of this process, 1.7 tons of metal and 4.3 tons of plastic were reclaimed. This resulted in a savings of 18,200 kg of CO2 emissions – enough to drive a car around 110,000 kilometers, or more than twice around the world! In 2023, nearly 60-80 kilograms of aluminum welded film were collected from around 27 hospitals. A total of more than 6 tons of single-use devices (SUD) have now been collected from 16 hospitals.

According to Teresa Pablos Espeso (Senior Manager Strategy and Execution), the interest and motivation expressed by the hospitals are enormous, given that sustainability is currently a major concern.

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Moreover, this complies with our game plan of generating sustainable and measurable benefits for patients, services and the healthcare system, based on the principles of value-based healthcare.

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After all, hospitals are among the biggest CO2 emitters in Switzerland. They consume as much energy as a small Swiss town every day.

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