KGH joins pledge to cut down on plastic waste

KGH has signed up to an NHS campaign to reduce plastic waste

Monday, 3rd February 2020, 11:15 am
Updated Monday, 3rd February 2020, 11:20 am

KGH has joined a national campaign to cut down on single use plastics across the NHS.

On Friday, January 31, KGH signed up to NHS England's Single Use Plastic Reduction Campaign which aims to reduce waste from things like single-use cups, cutlery and food pots across the health service.

Last year, the NHS bought at least 163 million plastic cups, 16 million pieces of plastic cutlery, 15 million straws and two million plastic stirrers.

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Kettering General Hospitals Trust Board has signed up to an NHS pledge to dramatically reduce plastic waste.

If the NHS halved its use of catering plastic, then 100 million fewer items of plastic would end up in landfill or polluting the oceans.

Director of estates and facilities, Ian Allen, who has been appointed KGH's senior responsible officer, said: "At KGH we already recycle our cardboard, paper, plastic bottles and tin cans and have a food digester on site where our catering waste can be recycled and used for purposed like creating energy."

He said signing the pledge signalled KGH's commitment to take the next step to committing to reducing plastics.

Mr Allen said: "In practical terms we sometimes do still need to have some items which are single use but the aim will be source recyclable materials to do this, and this is something we are already investigating."

KGH has committed to no longer purchase single-use plastic stirrers and straws, except in exceptional patient circumstances, by April 2020.

It has also committed to no longer purchase single-use plastic cutlery, plates or cups made of polystyrene or plastic and reduces plastic food containers by April 2021.

KGH chairman Alan Burns said: "Making this pledge is an important commitment to reducing the use of non-biodegradable plastics and reducing the amount of plastic that ends up in landfill – or even worse in the ocean.

"I am delighted that the NHS is making this commitment and trust boards like KGH’s are making this pledge now across the country. We are all contributing to the NHS Long Term Plan's commitment to reduce the use of single-use plastics."

Over time, the NHS is looking to reduce the use of other single-use plastics such as gloves, gowns and hygiene produces where clinically appropriate.