Surgical waste turns into new chair

Excellent example of local cooperation



– press release –

Hoogeveen / Bilthoven, 30 June 2022 – Furniture manufacturer Vepa and climate neutral material technology provider Bywyd launched a unique chair made out of surgical waste today. The Blue Finn. The seat and shell are made of Bluewrap, the material that many hospitals and other care facilities use to keep medical instruments sterile. The entire chair is made locally and offers a carbon reduction of approximately 35% compared to virgin plastic.

From waste to new chair
Precision, reliability and maximum hygiene is literally a matter of life and death for hospitals. That is why the supply of sterile instruments for operating theatres is a top priority. To keep these instruments sterile, they are covered with a wrapping material, in many cases: Bluewrap. This material is used only once and then thrown away, while hospitals are in fact committed to reducing their waste.

Janwillem de Kam, director of Vepa: “Each year, thousands of kilos of Bluewrap are used and thrown away in Dutch hospitals. What a waste! That is what we think. That is what the hospitals think. That is what our chain partners think. So it is really amazing to now be able to upcycle this waste stream with six chain partners into a chair that can be used again in the hospital – or anywhere else for that matter. This is how we complete yet another circle!””

Bluewrap is very suitable for reuse, but its qualities are too low-grade for furniture. Jan Willem Slijkoord, director of Bywyd:“Based on Bywyd’s material technology, we were able to upcycle Bluewrap into a suitable and high-quality material that is the perfect raw material for, for example, chairs.”

Everyone contributes
“Many parties are involved in the development of such a product. It is challenge to connect all chain partners,” according to Robert de Bruijn of Bywyd. “We are extremely proud of our achievement and the fact that it has resulted in such a beautiful and sustainable product.”

Hospitals LUMC and Meander – as well as the Green OR and waste processor PreZero – have been involved in the process from the start. Anne van der Eijk, Manager at LUMC: “Our colleagues at the OR centre and the Central Sterilisation Department were very motivated from the start to participate in this great initiative. Thanks to their efforts, care in LUMC has become a bit more sustainable. We hope that other hospitals will embrace our initiative.

Arthur Haag, sector manager Cure, Care & Education at PreZero:“At PreZero, we also work towards recycling more and more waste. This is a wonderful example of creating solutions together and closing circles. We really believe in this kind of collaboration. That’s how we can change the world one step at a time. That is what we are committed to. Just imagine: what if it works.”

Sustainable addition
The Blue Finn is part of a diverse collection of chairs made from recycled plastics. All furniture is made entirely in Vepa’s own factories in Hoogeveen and Wijchen (the Netherlands). The chair is available as a bar stool, a semi-high bar stool and a regular chair.

Janwillem de Kam:“The individual components of the Blue Finn are designed in such a way that we can easily separate and reuse them after use. We can shred the seats and shells and make new parts out of them.”

The chair is expected to be available from early 2023. Go to productpage.