Earth Day 24

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Today Mercy Health is excited to be joining forces with this Earth Day 2024 – the theme for this year is to End Plastics! As an organisation we are reflecting on the ways we are currently reducing our reliance on single use plastic, or recycling it if reducing or refusing isn’t possible.

Centralised Recycling Stations

In 2023, after feedback from staff at a previous Green Day event, centralised recycling stations were installed at Werribee Mercy Hospital and Mercy Hospital for Women. The recycling stations allow Mercy staff to recycle hard to recycle items. Along with batteries, e-waste and aluminium coffee pods, staff are able to divert medication vial lids (to the ANMF) and blister packs (to Pharmacycle) from landfill. Since opening in mid-2023, the stations have recycled:

  • 10kg of plastic vial lids
  • 27,400 blister packs, equating to 35kg of plastic

This is one way in which Mercy is playing its part in Plastic vs. Planet.


Image: Joanna Murawska

PVC Recycling

A number of wards and departments across Mercy Health Services are participating in the Baxter PVC recycling program. Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) is a plastic used to make oxygen masks, oxygen tubing and IV bags. PVC is not recyclable through conventional commingled recycling, so the organisation is pleased to be participating in the Baxter program.

Hard plastics, metals and straps are removed from oxygen masks, tubing and IV bags to ensure the material being picked up is clean and free from contamination. We are pleased to share that Werribee Mercy Hospital has recycled approximately 500kg of PVC in the past 6 months.

This program would not be possible without the hard work of our Green Champions – staff working across many wards and departments who are passionate about sustainability – who ensure local collection points are free from contamination.

More information about the recycling program can be found here: PVC Recycling For Hospitals | Baxter Professional Australia


Image provided by Baxter Healthcare

Compostable kidney dishes and anaesthetic trays

Health Services use single use plastic kidney dishes and anaesthetic trays in a number of clinical applications. At the Green Day event in 2023, staff voted to trial compostable or recyclable trays in place of current single use plastic options. The trials are being undertaken across a number of wards and departments right now! Some wards are trialling trays made of compostable bamboo (similar to take away containers), while others are trialling cardboard trays which can be recycled if clean. Staff are assessing the performance of the proposed trays in water absorption, structural integrity and ease of use. If the trials are successful, single use plastic trays will be replaced by the chosen new product, diverting waste from landfill and reducing the organisation’s reliance on virgin single use plastic.

Image: Joanna Murawska

Last reviewed April 16, 2024.

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