AMZS recycles first aid kits and turns them into educational tools | Federation Internationale de l'Automobile

AMZS recycles first aid kits and turns them into educational tools

16.03.22

The Automobile and Motorcycle Association of Slovenia (AMZS) and the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Ljubljana collected more than 3,500 expired first aid kits to give them a new life and prevent them from becoming waste.

Starting in 2018, the ŽIV-KO project aims at making drivers aware that first aid kits, even if expired, are still usable, especially for educational purposes, and that, when discarded, they should be properly recycled.

As the public response to the pilot project was extremely positive, in 2019 AMZS arranged collection points for expired first aid kits in all its centres, and invited the Slovenian Red Cross to participate in the initiative, using the kits for educational purposes.

Slovenian legislation stipulates that a first aid kit is a part of every vehicle’s mandatory equipment. Since the beginning of 2005, these kits have an expiration date, which means the owners of motor vehicles have to replace them with sterile first aid equipment every five years. 

Approximately 280,000 kits expire each year, and many users are wondering what to do with sterile devices after that date.

Since Autumn 2021, under the guidance of the Slovenian Armed Forces and the members of the EUFOR Bosnia-Herzegovina (BiH) Military Operation ALTHEA, AMZS has been collecting expired first aid kits for donations to Red Cross organisations in the northern part of BiH. 

More than 750 sets were collected in Slovenia and partially distributed through the Liaison and Observation Teams (LOT) of EUFOR and their local communities across BiH. The Red Cross organizations in BiH used these kits for educational purposes, namely during driver training and first aid courses. 

According to the representative of LOT, Major Peter Zvonc, the voluntary organisations were extremely satisfied with the received training aids, as they face a great shortage of medical supplies in these activities. 

“We are pleased to contribute through this initiative to the EUFOR mission, which is primarily to support local authorities and institutions in maintaining a safe and stable environment”, he said.

Together with the kits donated to BiH, AMZS has so far collected more than 3,500 kits in its centres, which might otherwise end up as waste. 

"When we at AMZS in cooperation with the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Ljubljana had the idea of ​​collecting expired first aid kits, we did not expect that the initiative would have such a positive response from the public, much less that we will be able to expand it across the borders of Slovenia”, said the Secretary General of the Automobile and Motorcycle Association of Slovenia, Mag. Jure Kostanjšek. 

“Even with such seemingly small steps, each of us can contribute to the protection of the environment”, he added.