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Turning Operating Room Trash Into Sustainable Items

Recycled Fashion


A team of Greenwich Hospital nurses is focusing on “green fashion” by upcycling material usually tossed in the garbage into sustainable couture as well as practical items for everyday use.

The nurses are repurposing non-woven polypropylene material used to ship sterile surgical instrument trays. The creations range from motorcycle jackets to floppy hats to chic dresses and purses. They also create utilitarian pieces such as garment bags, coasters, plant holders, pillows and sleeping bags.

The project began during the height of the pandemic when Operating Room staff constructed masks and shoe coverings from the wrapping. The material is thick, clean and safe to reuse. It cannot be appropriately sterilized to reuse in a hospital setting.

“Our goal is to raise awareness of the hospital’s efforts to recycle waste and transform it into practical and useful items,” said Wen-Ting Reardon, RN, the project leader.