Circular collaboration restores sterile, pre-surgery plastic packaging and unused fabrics to productive use

Berry Global, a leading nonwoven fabric manufacturer, Deaconess Midtown Hospital, and Nexus Circular announced today an initiative aimed at safely and effectively recycling non-hazardous, sterile, plastic packaging and nonwoven fabric from Deaconess Midtown Hospital’s Surgical Center. Through this effort, around 500 pounds per week – 350 bags – of clean, used plastics from the hospital’s surgical suite, pharmaceutical, laboratory, and warehouse are diverted from landfill, primarily consisting of the protective exterior packaging from surgical tools removed prior to surgery and unused nonwoven surgical cloths and gowns.

"There is a stigma around recycling in a hospital setting given health and safety concerns. But a lot of healthcare plastic packaging is clean and discarded before surgeries even take place, such as peel packs for surgical instruments,” said Curt Begle, President of Berry’s Health, Hygiene, and Specialties Division. “In addition to helping keep waste out of our environment, this initiative recycles valuable, sterile materials that were previously landfilled and provides new feedstock streams that can be used to produce new plastics, creating a circular loop.”

This innovative partnership between the plastic and medical industries reflects:

    Healthcare Circularity Colloboration Value Chain Graphic - Berry Global
  • Berry’s commitment to advancing circularity by increasing the use of recycled content & improving the collection & recyclability of used plastics;
  • Deaconess Midtown Hospital’s sustainability vision to improve the health of its community by engaging employees and medical staff to explore and implement best practices for recycling, reduced energy and water consumption, proper waste disposal, and more; and
  • Nexus Circular’s mission to provide an innovative, economically viable & commercially scaled advanced recycling solution for healthcare plastics.

"This innovative collaboration is a safe, convenient and important way to reduce our volume of waste, while returning quality recyclable materials back into production streams,” said Shawn McCoy, CEO, Deaconess Health System. “Staff have worked enthusiastically to develop effective processes for this initiative and are embracing this work as a continuation of their care for people and the environment in which we all live.”

Mixed streams of used, sterile healthcare plastics are collected at Deaconess Midtown Hospital and delivered to Evansville Packaging Systems (EPS) for auditing and vetting to separate plastic from other materials like paper, as well as confirm material is non-hazardous. EPS then transports the used plastics to Nexus Circular, which utilizes a pyrolysis-based advanced recycling technology to convert the plastic into its molecular building blocks that are then used to create new materials. 

Nexus is proud to partner with sustainability-minded organizations across the healthcare plastics value chain who view plastic as a resource and are seeking to develop new recycling pathways for hard-to-recycle materials,” said Carla Toth, SVP of Business Development at Nexus Circular. “We are demonstrating both the versatility and impact of advanced recycling to address previously landfilled plastics and reducing the accumulation of plastics in our environment while providing new sustainable materials for plastic production that reduce our dependence on fossil-based resources.”

As part of Berry’s “More Together” campaign, development of this circular initiative was spurred by Madyson Partenheimer, a Commercial Sustainability Manager at Berry Global and former healthcare worker with a passion for recycling, who recognized an untapped opportunity to drive collective change. More Together encourages employees, customers, and partners to share their personal passions for creating change and highlights how Berry is working with others to advance the circular economy and lead the plastics industry away from its dependence on fossil fuels.

Learn more about the personal passions behind this circular collaboration.

About Berry Global

At Berry Global Group, Inc. (NYSE: BERY), we create innovative packaging and engineered products that we believe make life better for people and the planet. We do this every day by leveraging our unmatched global capabilities, sustainability leadership, and deep innovation expertise to serve customers of all sizes around the world. Harnessing the strength in our diversity and industry-leading talent of 46,000 global employees across more than 265 locations, we partner with customers to develop, design, and manufacture innovative products with an eye toward the circular economy. The challenges we solve and the innovations we pioneer benefit our customers at every stage of their journey. For more information, visit our website, or connect with us on LinkedIn or Twitter. (BERY- E)

About Deaconess Midtown Hospital

Deaconess Health System is the premier provider of health care services to 51 counties in three states (IN, IL, and KY).  The system consists of 20 wholly owned, joint ventured, sponsored or affiliated hospitals located in southern Indiana, southeastern Illinois and western Kentucky. Deaconess Clinic, a fully integrated multispecialty group featuring primary care physicians as well as top specialty doctors, provides patients with consistent and convenient care throughout the tri-state region. Additional components include a freestanding Cancer Center, Urgent Care facilities, a network of preferred hospitals and doctors, more than 100 care locations, and multiple partnerships with other regional health care providers.

About Nexus Circular

Nexus Circular is an advanced recycling company at the center of the circular economy. Nexus accelerates plastic recycling with a market-leading, environmentally efficient process so that people and the environment can thrive.  Nexus works with sustainability-minded companies and recycling organizations to secure used plastics, especially hard-to-recycle films and flexible packaging, having diverted millions of pounds to date from landfill.  Nexus then combines proprietary technology with a leading process design to convert used plastics into clean high-quality, ISCC PLUS certified circular liquid products for global companies who use them to produce virgin-quality plastics, displacing fossil-based materials. Aligned with global partners who seek proven scalable solutions to meet ambitious plastic circularity goals, Nexus is rapidly expanding its innovation footprint worldwide, moving decisively to address the complex challenges of plastics accumulation in the environment.  With operations that scale and a team that delivers, Nexus is on a trajectory to convert billions of pounds of hard-to-recycle plastics into circular products to support their global partners’ 2025-2030 sustainability commitments.

Nexus Circular. Advanced Recycling. Accelerated.

Berry Global Media Contact:

Deaconess Midtown Hospital Media Contact:
Deaconess Public Relations
812-450-NEWS (6397)

Nexus Circular Media Contact:
Carla Toth, SVP Business Development
Phone : +1 678-896-9768