NHS bids to reduce plastic use in hospitals
Major high street names and suppliers including Marks & Spencer and WH Smith are backing the call by NHS chief executive Simon Stevens to dramatically cut the amount of single-use plastics in hospitals, as part of a package of measures in the NHS Long Term Plan to reduce the environmental impact of the health service.
Retailers operating in hospitals have committed to cut the use of avoidable plastics starting with straws and stirrers from April with cutlery, plates and cups phased out over the following 12 months.
The nationwide efforts will ramp up successful individual schemes including increased use of glass cups instead of plastic and installing water fountains, which have so far cut plastic use by hundreds of tonnes and freed up thousands of pounds to reinvest in local services.
The NHS bought at least 163 million plastic cups, 16 million pieces of plastic cutlery, 15 million straws and 2 million plastic stirrers last year. If the NHS cut its use of catering plastic in half it could mean over 100 million fewer items each year end up polluting the oceans or in landfill.Source: england.nhs.uk
More information can be found here: https://www.england.nhs.uk/2019/10/nhs-bids-to-cut-up-to-100-million-plastic-straws-cups-and-cutlery-from-hospitals/
Plastic pollution is becoming a major issue, not only in the UK but Worldwide. Some plastic is good as it can be recycled and reused, however the main concern is single use plastic which is used only once and then discarded and is resistant to many natural processes of degradation.
UK consumers use an estimated 13 billion plastic drinks bottles a year, but more than 3 billion are incinerated, sent to landfill or left to pollute our streets, countryside and marine environment.
The Environment Secretary, Michael Gove said: “We have already banned harmful microbeads and cut plastic bag use, and now we want to take action on plastic bottles to help clean up our oceans. It is absolutely vital we act now to tackle this threat and curb the millions of plastic bottles a day that go unrecycled.”Source: gov.uk
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