Designing for recycling and sustainability in healthcare packaging

Join us for a free virtual conference on October 4-5, 2023, focused on Designing for Recycling and Sustainability in Healthcare Packaging

Learn about the latest sustainable packaging materials, regulatory developments, design guidelines, and methods to evaluate recyclability. Discover how the value chain or value chain partners/stakeholders/players are working to address challenges and minimize the environmental impacts of medical packaging waste.

With engaging content and networking opportunities, this is an event you won’t want to miss!


Conference overview

Sustainability is a growing concern across industries and healthcare packaging is no exception. The need to improve circularity while reducing environmental footprint has led to a focus on designing recyclable plastic packaging solutions; however, designing for recyclability is not a simple task for healthcare packaging given the regulatory requirements and the criticality of protecting patient safety.

Day one’s panel discussion will explore sustainability regulations effect on the healthcare packaging market. 

On day two we’ll dive into the specific design guidelines and recyclability assessments that healthcare packaging designers and producers can follow to enhance recyclability and to minimize environmental impacts of packaging waste. We will also hear about healthcare systems that have taken action to implement healthcare plastic recycling programs.


What attendees will learn

The conference will feature short-format presentations, panel discussions and case studies that will provide insights into the challenges and opportunities in designing sustainable and recyclable packaging solutions for the healthcare industry. Our experts will explore the various sustainable packaging materials currently available for medical products and how they compare to traditional materials. We will discuss the various aspects of collection, sorting and recycling, and how to achieve recyclability at scale. Industry experts will present new developments in monomaterial packaging offering, to improve recycling and reduce waste. We will also explore the importance of labelling in promoting recycling.


Gain insights

Gain insights into the latest developments in sustainable and recyclable packaging solutions for the healthcare industry.

Design guidelines

Learn about design guidelines and recyclability assessment methods to help the healthcare packaging industry design and manufacture sustainable and recyclable packaging.

Recyclability at scale

Understand the importance of collection, sorting and recycling in achieving recyclability at scale, and explore new developments in monomaterial packaging

Hear from experts

Hear from experts on the latest developments in the EU Packaging and Packaging Waste Regulation (PPWR) and Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) legislation


Don’t miss this opportunity to learn from leading experts in the field and connect with peers and colleagues from around the world. Register today and join us for this exciting and informative event.







    • 9:00 a.m. – Welcome & Networking Session 
    • 9:30 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. - Live Panel Discussion and Interactive Q&A: Regulations impacting the future of healthcare packaging (e.g. PPWR & EPR)

    Sigrid Linher
    Director Sustainability and Environment,
    MedTech Europe

    Sigrid Linher joined MedTech Europe, the European trade association for the medical technology industry, in June 2023. As Director Sustainability and Environment, she heads the association’s work in this area. 

    Sigrid came to MedTech Europe from the Brussel’s office of the Bundesverband der Deutschen Industrie e.V. (BDI), where her professional activities centred around the EU Green Deal, Fit-for-55 and REPowerEU policies. Previously, she worked for 17 years at Orgalim, Europe’s Technology Industries, as Director in charge of energy, climate and environment, including chemicals, product and waste legislation.

    A lawyer by training and an Austrian national, she is fluent in German, English and French and has a thorough understanding of Dutch. Sigrid holds an Executive Master in International Association Management of Solvay Business School, Belgium.

    Sigrid is passionate for business with a purpose and shaping a sustainable future. Outside the office, Sigrid enjoys nature discovery together with her family and friends, gardening and arts.


    Dr. Gerald Rebitzer
    Director Sustainability
    Amcor Flexibles

    Gerald Rebitzer is Head of Sustainability at Amcor Flexibles. This role encompasses both environmental management and social responsibility from an operations perspective as well as working with customers and suppliers to enhance the performance of the packaging products Amcor provides to the food, home-, medical- and personal care, and pharmaceutical industries

    In this role he focuses on design for recyclability efforts and standardization for all flexible packaging, ways to incorporate more post-consumer recycled content, significantly increasing actual recycling rates in Europe and across the globe, as well as driving decarbonization of the full value chain. This is complemented by advocacy engagement for effective and efficient policy measures driving sustainability and circularity for producers of packaging and packaged goods.

    Gerald has track record of more than 25 years in embedding and driving sustainability in organizations and across value chains, from raw materials production, conversion/processing, distribution, packaging use, to waste management and recycling.

    He holds a Ph.D. in Life Cycle Management from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne and a Masters in Environmental Engineering from the Technical University Berlin. In addition to his current roles as chairman of the steering committee of CEFLEX and vice chair of Europen, Gerald is active in 4evergreen, the Alliance to End Plastic Waste, Flexible Packaging Europe and EAFA, the Consumer Goods Forum, the Aluminium Stewardship Initiative, and the CEN standardization process for flexible packaging.


    Samantha Smith
    Engineering Director, Sustainability Development Center

    Samantha Smith is the Director at Medtronic’s Sustainability Development Center where she is shaping the future of sustainability in the medical device industry. She has over 20 years of experience in Packaging Design and Development. Before joining Medtronic she worked as a Packaging Engineer for such companies as Honeywell, Procter & Gamble, BIC Consumer Products and Energizer. Since she joined Medtronic 9 years ago, she has held different roles at the company that focused on Packaging Design Development and Global Supply Management. She also managed its Packaging Lab. Samantha holds a BS in Packaging Science from Michigan State University.


    Sacha Tensen
    Strategic Environmentalist,
    UMC Utrecht

    Sacha is an experienced environmental and sustainability consultant. She has been working at UMC Utrecht since 2016, where she spends a large part of her time advising on sustainability in large tenders. In addition, Sacha works for the Alliance EWUU, and initiative were Eindhoven University of Technology, Wageningen University & Research, Utrecht University and University Medical Centre Utrecht work together on education and scientific research in the fields of circularity and preventive health. In the working group Circular Society Sacha works to promote and support trans disciplinary scientific research focused on circular hospitals.


    Thierry Wagner
    Director Regulatory and Standards

    Thierry Wagner has spent over 30 years working for DuPont in its polyester films and nonwovens businesses and is currently the Global Director, Regulatory & Standards – Healthcare, DuPont – Safety & Construction. He is convenor of ISO/TC 198/WG7 “Sterilization of Health Care Products—Packaging” and CEN/ TC 102/WG4 “Sterilizers and associated equipment for processing of medical devices – Packaging”, past-chairman of the Sterile Barrier Association (SBA), member of the Parenteral Drug Association (PDA) and actively involved in various ISO and CEN technical committees on medical and pharmaceutical packaging, sterilization and aseptic processing. Thierry is also a member of ISO/TC 210 in charge of ISO 13485 and medical device symbols (ISO 15223 series), ASTM Committee F02 and of the CEN Advisory Board for Healthcare Standards - Europe (CEN ABHS). He earned a master's degree in mechanical and process engineering from ETH Zürich in Switzerland. He is a featured speaker at international conferences and seminars on medical and pharmaceutical packaging regulatory aspects.

    • 9:00am - Day Two Opening Remarks & Networking Session 
    • 9:30am - Power Hour Session and Interactive Q&A: Towards circular packaging: Healthcare value chain in focus
    • 10:30am - 11:00am - Closing & Networking Session

    Dr. Roland Bothor
    Head of Eco-design and development,
    Institute cyclos-HTP

    Recyclability of Plastic-based Medical Packaging based on the Assessment Standard of the cyclos-HTP Institute

    • Definition of recycling and recyclability
    • The CHI-RA assessment standard
    • Case sharing


    Dr. Roland Bothor has a degree in Chemistry and received his PhD (Dr.-Ing.) from the Technical University Darmstadt in Germany. After more than 3 years in the paper industry and 18 years in the packaging industry he joined the cyclos-HTP Institute (CHI) in 2019 as Head of Eco Design and Development. He is a Publicly Appointed and Sworn Expert for Packaging Disposal.

    Wexner Medical Center
Corporate Portraits
BRT - Walkway
Photo by Jay LaPrete

    Lauren Koch
    Sustainability Program Manager,
    Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center

    A Journey to Zero Waste: Healthcare Plastics Recycling Programs

    • What does a zero waste goal at an academic medical center actually mean?
    • How to set up a clinical plastics recycling pilot or support a hospital to set one up (OSUWMC’s program has diverted over 10 tons of plastic to date!)
    • The importance of ongoing education (hint: you’re never done with this task)

    Lauren Koch is the sustainability program manager at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center. She brings over twelve years of health care and sustainability experience, seven of those spent working for Practice Greenhealth. During her time working there, she led the authorship of multiple toolkits such as the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Toolkit.

    Lauren participates in national sustainability industry groups, including the U.S. Health Care Climate Council, the Health Care Plastics Recycling Council’s Hospital Advisory Board and the American Society of Healthcare Engineers Sustainability Taskforce. Locally, she also serves on the Ohio Hospital Association Environmental Leadership Council and the advisory board for Green Columbus. She completed a dual masters in environment and natural resources and public policy from Ohio State University.


    Fabrizio Di Gregorio
    Technical Director,
    Plastics Recyclers Europe

    Recyclability and Recycled Plastics: RecyClass approach

    • PPWR proposal and RecyClass 
    • RecyClass with its scientific based approach offers a complete toolbox to the plastic industry to check and claim recyclability and recycled plastics
    • Standard testing protocols and fact-based design for recycling guidelines, the base for a reliable third-party certification

    Fabrizio Di Gregorio received an Honors Degree in Environmental Science and Technology and a PhD in Industrial Engineering from the University of Naples. He spent 10 years as researcher and lecturer at the University of Naples in mechanical, chemical and biochemical processes, as well as in life cycle assessment and substance and material flow analysis. He was invited lecturer at the Denmark Technology University and at the Technology University of Wien. He spent 2 years as R&D manager at CONAI, the Italian EPR scheme.

    Currently he is Technical Director of Plastics Recyclers Europe and Head of RecyClass, a technical plastic value chain initiative. With its scientific-based approach RecyClass is supporting the plastic industry in advancing on recyclability and recycled content in packaging and products.


    Cristina Van Loy
    Senior Manager Environmental Sustainability,
    Thermo Fisher Scientific

    Best Practices for Optimal Hospital Plastics Recycling; HPRC Design Guidance

    The Healthcare Plastics Recycling Council (HPRC) recently released an updated design guidance document with intent to influence the design of plastic healthcare products and packaging for improved recyclability without deteriorating product integrity or performance. This guidance provides recommendations for preferred materials for mechanical recycling processes and briefly describes potential future opportunities for the use of advanced recycling technologies. HPRC is a private technical coalition of industry peers across healthcare, recycling, and waste management industries seeking to improve the recyclability of plastic products and packaging within healthcare.

    Cristina Van Loy is the technical lead for Thermo Fisher Scientific’s Design for Sustainability program. She partners with customers and product development teams to incorporate sustainable design principles into product concepts to reduce environmental impacts across a product's life cycle.

    Cristina has been with Thermo Fisher for 21 years, and has held roles spanning Sustainability, Research & Development, Project Management, and Technical Support. She has been a member of the Healthcare Plastics Recycling Council (HPRC) since 2019.


    Tommy Smith, PhD,
    Technical Leader EMEA,
    Oliver Healthcare Packaging

    The Development of Recyclable and Sustainable Flexible Packaging Materials

    • Development of Recyclable Materials and their Performance
    • Development of Sustainable Materials and their Performance
    • Converting Recyclable & Sustainable Materials


    Tommy Smith is the Technical Leader for EMEA at Oliver Healthcare Packaging. In his 13 years of flexible packaging experience, Tommy has developed an extensive knowledge in the design and manufacture of flexible packaging for the medical device and pharma industries. Tommy’s education stems from Polymer Engineering – holding two degrees in Polymer Science and Polymer Engineering. Tommy also holds a doctoral degree in Polymer Engineering.