Visit to Baxter Healthcare with Minister for the Environment, the Hon Sussan Ley

It was a pleasure to host the Federal Minister for the Environment, the Hon Sussan Ley in the electorate of Mitchell visiting Baxter Healthcare’s on-site recycling operations including PVC granulator that prepares empty IV bags for use in new products including garden hose and gumboots.

Steven Flynn – General Manager, Australia and New Zealand from Baxter Healthcare undertook a tour of sustainable manufacturing, including solar and gas fire tri-generation, and waste minimization programs in manufacturing of PVC IV fluids bags.

 “Plastic litter takes hundreds of years to breakdown in the environment and when it does, it turns into harmful microplastics which have a disastrous effect on the environment and the marine environment, Minister Ley said.

“We have made it clear that industry needs to take action for their waste. Initiatives like Baxter’s which sees close to 140 tonnes of PVC IV bags recycled every year is a shining example of industry taking responsibility for their products, while also making a practical environmental difference.”

“Baxter medical is the only company in Australia that makes PVC IV bags for hospitals and dialysis bags for home use. In a factory the size of four football fields, they produce the bags and the IV fluids, said Alex Hawke MP.

Their recycling program sees nurses at hospitals collect the used IV bags, return them to Baxter, where they are stripped, cleaned and flaked back into plastic. The flaked plastic is then sent to a boot factory where they are made into gumboots and another factory where they are used to make residential garden hose.

“Baxter Healthcare states that at least 20km of garden hose is made just from their recycled IV bags. An average 300 bed hospital will return 2.5 tonnes of the PVC IV bags every year. These bags would otherwise go into landfill, said Alex Hawke MP.

“Over 200 hospitals across Australia participate in the IV bag recycling program.  Baxter Healthcare would like more hospitals to take part in the program. This is a great local initiative and I hope more public and private hospitals will get on board”, concluded Alex Hawke MP.