South Denmark – Collaboration to evaluate recycling programme for blood collection tubes

South Denmark – Collaboration to evaluate recycling programme for blood collection tubes
Ecosystem News

Hospitals in Denmark are considered important players in the country’s green agenda. As the healthcare sector is responsible for 6% of the total CO2 emission in Denmark, there is great potential for them to contribute to this agenda.

In a newly established partnership, several partners from South Denmark are involved in evaluating the
feasibility of recycling used blood collection tubes to reduce hazardous waste and increase circularity.
Blood collection tubes are one of health care’s most commonly used products. Across the Region of
Southern Denmark, approx. 11 million blood collection tubes are disposed every year.

Used blood collection tubes are considered hazardous waste and they are currently disposed via
incineration. This is both expensive and has a negative impact on the climate. The tubes are made of high
quality raw materials, PET plastic which has the potential to be recycled up to 100 times. Industry partners
are expecting a future with scarce resources and that it will become increasingly difficult to get access to
raw materials for production of e.g. blood collection tubes. Bringing high quality raw materials back in the
production cycle will also help addressing this foreseen challenge.

In the feasibility study, the aim is to establish basic feasibility for recycling used blood collection tubes and
achieving high quality recycled material, while ensuring safety and hygiene. The project aims for a proof-of-
concept, where the results will qualify relevant methods in cleaning and recycling blood collection tubes
and contribute with knowledge regarding the potential for other plastic products in healthcare within the
hazardous waste category.

The project is a collaboration between The Department of Clinical Biochemistry at Odense University
Hospital, Becton Dickinson and Company, Danish Technological Institute, GMAF Circular Medico/EcoFitt,
and the Health Innovation Centre of Southern Denmark.
The South Denmark ecosystem is engaging in a number of initiatives related to green transition where the
healthcare system can contribute to this important agenda in the coming years.
If you want to know more, please contact Caroline Strudwick, Project Manager at the Health Innovation
Centre of Southern Denmark at


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