'Recycling Gantoise' wins Circuit Circular

From the operating theatre to a car seat

The second edition of Circuit Circulair has a first winner with 'Recyclage Gantoise'. This project is a collaboration between Mozaïek vzw and three Ghent hospitals (AZ Maria Middelares, AZ Sint-Lucas, UZ Gent), aimed at processing used polypropylene sterilisation cloths from operating theatres into recyclable materials for the automotive industry. The aim is not only ecological, but also social, as people distanced from the labour market are involved in this initiative.

Mozaïek vzw, an organisation dedicated to helping vulnerable groups, offers meaningful employment to its clients through the 'Recyclage Gantoise' project. Karen Vansteenwegen, day support coordinator at Mozaïek vzw, emphasises the importance of creating opportunities for their clients to participate in socially responsible work that is tailored to their capabilities.

From medical plastic waste to automotive applications

Hospitals collect the used cloths and deliver them to Mosaic. The non-profit organisation's employees remove non-recyclable sticker material, leaving only recyclable polypropylene. After processing, this material is used in the automotive industry. In 2022, 17 tonnes of cloths have already been processed in this way, and in 2023 so far 16 tonnes, representing more than 80 per cent of the material from participating hospitals.

With the support of the city of Ghent, Mozaïek vzw wants to expand the project to other types of medical waste, such as pipette tip trays or infusion bags. In cooperation with UZ Gent and EnAdvis, it is looking at setting up a sustainable cooperation model within the healthcare sector.

Tine Heyse, alderwoman for the Environment and Climate, praised Mozaïek vzw's initiative as a deserved winner of Circuit Circulair. It highlights the importance of avoiding large streams of medical material waste at a time when hygiene in healthcare is crucial but often involves a lot of disposable material.

The second edition of Circuit Circular, where more than 30 Ghent citizens submitted proposals, crowned a sustainable and socially responsible project with this winner. The focus on both environmental and social impact makes 'Recyclage Gantoise' an inspiring example within the circular economy.