Medical Physics and Biomedical Engineering


Reusing and Recycling

  1. Plastics are mostly nonbiodegradable, nonrenewable, and non-compostable, therefore causing major environmental and disposal issues worldwide. They are one of the most challenging packaging materials to recycle. Some conventional petroleum or fossil-based plastics used in packaging include polyethylene terephthalate (PET), polypropylene (PP), high-density polyethylene (HDPE), polyvinyl chloride (PVC), low-density polyethylene (LDPE), polystyrene (PS), and other plastics, such as bioplastic polylactide (PLA).

    Most of the time a country's waste disposal or recycling system is not clear, so no matter how much we collect plastics in designated containers, there is no guarantee that they will actually be disposed of or recycled properly, especially as each plastic has its own characteristics and properties and therefore cannot be treated as a whole. It would be interesting to propose a new plastic waste collection system, with new collection points with polymer identification, controlled collection and disposal. Collection points could be set up on each floor with tools that would quickly identify the type of plastic (e.g., handheld FTIR). Different types of plastic could be collected and sorted, and those that cannot be processed or reused could be properly disposed of. Perhaps we could open a collaboration with IoM and set up a recycling workspace there. This could start as a community experiment within the department, and if it works, it could spread to the faculty and beyond. 
  2. Promote a line of MPBE tote bags and travel mugs to increasingly discourage the use of take-away cups and lunch bags. 
  3. Charity section for objects, materials, furnishings and perhaps personal items second-hand or re-usable. 

  4. Organise regular exchange, sharing and training meetings where we can come into contact with entrusted information and practical advice to improve the way we see and deal with waste and recycling.