Recycling News



Brand integrity is crucial to Smith & Nephew due to fundamental concerns about its reputation and the use of its products. For example, if materials are not controlled from the very start to the end of the product lifespan, they may end up being used or sold in an unauthorised manner, potentially resulting in patient harm.

The arrangement for all branded material, including recyclables, was to treat the waste (including recyclable wastes) through a secure destruction route (incineration or deep landfill). However, this was more expensive and less environmentally friendly than recycling the materials.

The client had difficulty understanding the recyclability of its materials due to the nature of its products, which in several cases are unique to its manufacturing processes. We carried out compositional analysis of the materials and discovered ways to process these materials as a recyclate, allowing us to access alternative markets which did not involve incineration or deep landfill. The benefits included, in some cases, receiving rebates (as the recyclate had a value in the market), or reduced disposal costs (saving money on Smith & Nephew’s bottom line), as well as contributing to sustainability targets.