Healthcare has a single-use mindset in general, but the potential for circular transformation is huge. Healthcare is one of the fastest growing global industries in recent years. In Europe alone, the healthcare sector employs more than 21 million people and accounts for 10% of GDP.
Signatories of the Green Deal agree to pursue 5 objectives in addition to their own ambitions and goals:
1. Promote the health of healthcare consumers and providers through better nutrition and environment and lifestyle interventions,
2. Increase knowledge and awareness of the sector’s environmental and climate-related impact,
3. To be carbon-neutral by 2050
4. Reduce use of materials and resources as well as residual waste,
5. Reduce the environmental burden of pharmaceuticals
Many challenges have been identified in the transformation of the health sector, however, examples of applications of the circular economy in health may be related to:
- reduction of needed products,
- reuse of products on-site or off-site,
- reprocessing of single-use devices,
- recyclable materials,
- eco-design products and devices.