PPE-mSUP Project Media Release

New initiative seeks to reduce Health Care-related PPE and Medical Single Use Plastic Waste through Circular Economy Practices

Combermere, Ontario. April 21, 2021 – In order to keep Canada’s health care workers safe and provide care in hospitals during the COVID-19 pandemic, the use of personal protective equipment (PPE) and medical single use plastics (mSUPs) increased significantly. At the same time, numerous challenges emerged during the pandemic which reduced access to PPE, mSUPs and other medical products. 

A newly launched project, of the Canadian Coalition for Green Health Care (Coalition),  Reducing Health Care-Related PPE and Medical Single Use Plastic Waste Through Circular Economy Principles, will demonstrate that hospital-generated PPE and mSUP materials can be successfully managed by applying the principles of a circular economy: reduce, reuse and recycle as much as possible before the materials are disposed. The project will demonstrate that waste PPE can be collected, stored and transported to a designated recycling facility operated by an industry partner. In addition, PPE and selected mSUPs reuse and reduction opportunities will be identified which will complement and further enable resource conservation.

“The Coalition and our collaborators will conduct important first-person research that can inform the sector on best practices for PPE waste management. It will also help develop operational expertise among the various stakeholders engaged in the acquisition, use/re-use, recycling and disposal of PPEs and selected mSUPs,” says Coalition Executive Director Neil Ritchie. “Ultimately, we hope to demonstrate that applying a circular economy lens to purchasing decisions in hospitals can both save money and our planet.”

The project technical lead, Coalition Associate Kady Cowan, brings extensive green health care expertise to the initiative and will be collaborating with well-respected Canadian health sustainability experts.

Hospital partners include GreenCare, managed by British Columbia’s Energy and Environmental Sustainability team, a shared service supporting BC’s Lower Mainland health organizations and a leader in considering circular economy applications in health care, and Toronto’s University Health Network (UHN), both of which have award-winning environmental sustainability programs and have demonstrated leadership in these areas.

The project academic partner is Dr. Fiona A. Miller, Professor of Health Policy and Chair in Health Management Strategies in the Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation at the University of Toronto. Further guidance will be provided by external evaluator, Dr. Cameron Norman, President and Principal of CENSE.

Join us at our introductory project webinar to hear more details on May 11, 2021. Register by visiting: What to do with hospital PPE and medical single use plastic waste?

To learn more about the Coalition’s new PPE/mSUP initiative, please visit the website at: https://greenhealthcare.ca/ppe-msup

This project was undertaken with the financial support of Environment and Climate Change Canada.


The Canadian Coalition for Green Healthcare is Canada’s premier green health care resource network leading the transition to environmentally sustainable and climate-resilient practices www.greenhealth care.ca 



Kent Waddington, Communications Director                                       

Canadian Coalition for Green Health Care