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Environmental impact

Environmental impacts of single use products

In the UK, we are sending 1.6 billion single use face masks to landfill every month. 

 

Add to this NHS hospital PPE, aprons, gloves and single use hats and you start to think about the enormity of the waste, especially since the pandemic and the ever-increasing use of masks on a daily basis.

 

Climate change poses a major threat to our health as well as our planet.  The environment is changing, that change is accelerating, and this has direct consequences for patients, the public and the NHS. 

Plastic and non recycleable products harm our environment

Masks are typically made from polypropylene, a fossil fuel-derived plastic that can take hundreds of years to break down, landfill is the destination for these but sometimes they don’t stay here – many get blown around and sometimes end up in our waterways which has a detrimental effect to our wildlife.

We have a solution to single use masks in the form of washable cloth masks but perhaps there needs to be more education to enable people to understand the implications of their simple action of throwing masks away. Making this small change is a start which we can all do to reduce the impact to the environment. 

Fabric hats

We also have a solution to disposable hats as well: reusable name and role hats which can be taken home by the clinicians to wash.  The need for change within the NHS is huge, due to the colossal amount of single use plastics are discarded daily. Theatre hats alone can account for much of this.

  

An average 20 theatre hospital would usually dispose of around a minimum of a 100,000 caps per year, most of which go into landfill and some are incinerated. Our hats will last for approximately 3 years.


The solution to part of this challenge is happening right now.  Re-usable fabric theatre hats are quickly making headway in many hospital theatres across the UK.  An increasing number of NHS Trusts are now moving towards this initiative to help in reducing the massive waste issues in our landfill sites and we are trying to help them to achieve their goals. 

Am I worth this ?

Maria Koijck surgery with disposable products waste

Maria Koijck is an autonomous artist, who has dedicated herself to increasing awareness, of the contamination of the earth, by making unique and remarkable sculptures and videos, from litter and used plastics.

Demonstrating the masses of waste in a unique and eye-catching way, will hopefully strike a chord with people, so that they realise the detriment of the throw away society we have become, to try to influence positive changes. Maria created this amazing video to demonstrate the vast number of plastic products, which was used in her very own operation.

Maria had a breast reconstruction following a mastectomy.  The procedure took ten hours and 15 people were involved: this is the result of the waste created by this one procedure.

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