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Sustainability In The Medical Field - How Hospitals Can Reduce Waste

Any organisation, regardless of the industry, should contribute in doing their

part to preserve the environment and reduce waste. In the healthcare sector,

waste management isn’t as much of an option as it is a requirement. This is

because hospitals, labs, medical centres, and other healthcare organisations

create a large amount of biological and chemical waste which must be processed

properly to prevent health hazards and contamination of waterways.

Waste management isn’t just about biological and chemical waste, however,

as plastic and paper waste are a big problem for the medical industry as well. PPE,

gloves, face masks, face shields, disposable theatre caps/uniforms, and other

protective gears can end up in landfills, which will harm both waste management

staff and the environment. Recent climate change reports are showing that

disposable paper and plastic waste are one of the biggest threats to our planet

which makes it more important than ever that the medical industry focuses on

sustainability and reducing waste.

With that in mind, we are going to take a look at some ways that

medical organisations can become more sustainable, reduce waste,

and contribute to a greener NHS:

Set-Up Sustainability Strategies- the management team should acknowledge the

fact that hospitals produce a significant amount of potentially hazardous medical

waste, paper and plastic waste, and more. If not disposed of and processed

properly, pathogens and dangerous substances will leach into waterways and the

additional paper waste could overwhelm landfills. Hospitals must have a solid

strategy to collect, segregate, treat, and dispose of any and all waste.

Reduce Paper Waste- during the pandemic, medical staff used more protective

gear than ever. While some PPE must be disposed after just one use, other

products such as disposable theatre caps/uniforms can be reused as long as they

are manufactured properly. Certain PPE, disposable theatre caps/uniforms, and

other protective garments can be made of cloth and reused a number of times,

whereas paper must be thrown away.

Ensure Regulatory Compliance- health authorities have already issued regulations

to distinguish different types of medical waste. By being compliant to these

regulations, it is possible to maintain best practices in the healthcare sector. As an

example, soiled linens and reusable theatre caps/uniforms, can be considered

reusable or medical waste, depending on certain situations.

Get In Touch With Warwick Med

To learn more about sustainability in the medical field, get in touch with

Warwick Med and speak with an expert who can assist you and answer any

questions you might have.

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