February 1, 2022
Tonnes of COVID-19 health care waste expose urgent need to improve waste management systems
The WHO Global analysis of health care waste in the context of COVID-19: status, impacts and recommendations bases its estimates on the approximately 87,000 tonnes of personal protective equipment (PPE) that was procured between March 2020- November 2021 and shipped to support countries’ urgent COVID-19 response needs through a joint UN emergency initiative. Most of this equipment is expected to have ended up as waste.
“COVID-19 has forced the world to reckon with the gaps and neglected aspects of the waste stream and how we produce, use and discard of our health care resources, from cradle to grave,” said Dr Maria Neira, Director, Environment, Climate Change and Health at WHO. “Significant change at all levels, from the global to the hospital floor, in how we manage the health care waste stream is a basic requirement of climate-smart health care systems, which many countries committed to at the recent UN Climate Change Conference.”
They point out that over 140 million test kits, with a potential to generate 2,600 tonnes of non-infectious waste (mainly plastic) and 731,000 litres of chemical waste have been shipped, while over 8 billion doses of vaccine have been administered globally producing 144,000 tonnes of additional waste in the form of syringes, needles, and safety boxes.
As the UN and countries grappled with the immediate task of securing and quality-assuring supplies of PPE, less attention and resources were devoted to the safe and sustainable management of COVID-19 related health care waste.
“It is absolutely vital to provide health workers with the right PPE, “said Dr Michael Ryan, Executive Director, WHO Health Emergencies Programme. “But it is also vital to ensure that it can be used safely without impacting on the surrounding environment.”
This means having effective management systems in place, including guidance for health workers on what to do with PPE and health commodities after they have been used. Today, 30% of healthcare facilities (60% in the least developed countries) are not equipped to handle existing waste loads, let alone the additional COVID-19 load - impacting communities living near poorly managed landfills and waste disposal sites through contaminated air from burning waste, poor water quality or disease carrying pests.
Recommendations include investment in non-burn waste treatment technologies, reverse logistics to support centralized treatment and investments in the recycling sector. The COVID-19 waste challenge and increasing urgency to address environmental sustainability offer an opportunity to strengthen systems to safely and sustainably reduce and manage health care waste. This can be through strong national policies and regulations, regular monitoring and reporting and increased accountability, behaviour change support and workforce development, and increased budgets and financing.
“A systemic change in how health care manages its waste would include greater and systematic scrutiny and better procurement practices,” said Dr Anne Woolridge, Chair of the Health Care Waste Working Group, International Solid Waste Association (ISWA).
“There is growing appreciation that health investments must consider environmental and climate implications, as well as a greater awareness of co-benefits of action. For example, safe and rational use of PPE will not only reduce environmental harm from waste, it will also save money, reduce potential supply shortages and further support infection prevention by changing behaviours.”
The analysis comes at a time when the health sector is under increasing pressure to reduce its carbon footprint and minimize the amount of waste being sent to landfill — in part because of the great concern about the proliferation of plastic waste and its impacts on water, food systems and human and ecosystem health.
January 17, 2020
Shaanxi investment Xinxing
CTEC Energy visited China in the new year to meet various companies, Shaanxi investment Xinxing. Xu Tianyou, secretary, executive director and general manager of Xinxing Party branch of Shaanxi investment group Co., Ltd. Li Bo, member of the general Party branch and general manager of Lixin optoelectronics Co., Ltd., Wang Haibo, deputy chief economist.
November 29, 2019
The Pune Municipal Corporation
CTEC Energy spent nine days in India meeting with extraordinary people who collectively, want to improve their way of dealing with plastic waste. One of the meetings was with Commissioner D.S. Molak from The Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC), he has done wonders for Pune and will continue to improve their way of life and assist CTEC in the new year.
Hanmant Ramdas Gaikwad a.k.a. HR Gaikwad is an Indian entrepreneur and the Chairman and Managing Director of BVG India Limited, India's largest integrated services company. HR Gaikwad was extremely excited to hear about CTEC Energy's technology and invited us to his home to talk about the possibility for installing our systems into India.
Commissioner D.S. Molak from The Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) with CTEC Energy
Mike Burns and Hanmant Ramdas Gaikwad
February 14, 2018
Coast to Capital press release
Coast to Capital has contributed £1.8 million from its Growing Places Fund to CTEC Energy to help provide clean energy with the first Advanced Conversion Technology (ACT) plant in the world. This exciting project will also create up to 58 jobs in Newhaven alone and enable the development of six more future plants in and around Sussex.
Green leader Natalie Bennett visits clean energy company
Green Party leader Natalie Bennett, pictured middle, visits CTEC Energy in Newhaven