A Welsh manufacturer, which is on a mission to tackle the world’s growing personal protective equipment (PPE) waste problem, is set to expand its global presence after securing its first export deals in Australia and Canada.
Cardiff-based Thermal Compaction Group (TCG) specialises in the manufacture of innovative technology used to recycle single-use, disposable plastic PPE, including surgical tray wraps, drapes and medical-grade face masks. The company was one of the first in the world to develop the new technology and has seen interest in its recycling solutions soar in light of the pandemic.
Earlier this year, it unveiled its patented ‘Sterimelt’ device, which thermally compacts polypropylene at 350°C and re-engineers it so that it can be used to make new plastic products. Following initial success in the UK, with the device being rolled out to hospital trusts across England and Wales, TCG is now looking at expanding into international markets.
The company has just signed deals to export the Sterimelt to leading industry names in Australia and Canada, agreeing contracts to supply over 100 of the devices to Australian waste management firm, 180 Waste Group, as well as Vancouver-based Alternative Recycling, and Advanced Extraction Systems, located on Prince Edward Island. The firms, which are TCG’s first clients outside of the UK, will distribute the product across the health and social care sectors in both regions.
Research estimates that, since the start of the COVID-19 outbreak which began last year, over 129 billion face masks are used globally every month, the majority of which are made from single-use plastic, leading to a significant amount of waste going to landfill.
Read more at Cardiff company secures international interest for innovative PPE waste solution – EU Reporter
A great development and one that is sure to succeed. However, the outlook may change when the pandemic recedes. As the bulk of suitable waste feedstock will arise in hospitals, there is the problem of yet another waste receptacle in already cramped hospital ward or clinic. If that can be managed successfully, and if their plan is not spoiled by the regrettably common incorrect segregation of wastes, then it might be all systems go.