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PAH dishes out greener alternative to plastic

15 February 2019

In a major win for the environment, a whopping 650,000 plastic kidney dishes used annually at Princess Alexandra Hospital (PAH) will be replaced by a biodegradable alternative made from sugarcane fibre.

Community Garden and Recycling Consultant Renae McBrien said the move came after 100 per cent of PAH clinical staff, who trialled it, recommended the product.  

“Kidney dishes, which are named for the shape not the organ, are used every day with almost every patient,” she said.

“They are the clean, single-use, dishes health professionals use when giving injections, to clean wounds, transferring medications, collecting soiled bandages and dressings, and the list goes on.

“Staff tested the zero-waste alternative in a wide variety of medical circumstances including using hot and cold fluids over 24hours—and they were blown away.”

Ms McBrien said the new dish had the same performance and function as the plastic version, with the added benefit of being good for the environment.  

“The biodegradable dish is made from 100 per cent recycled sugarcane fibre, that remains after extracting the juice from the sugarcane,” she said.

“We are showcasing true leadership, innovation and environmental responsibility in the health industry by making decisions like this, to improve our carbon footprint.” 

Central Clinical Resource Unit Clinical Nurse Jacqueline Roberts said the changeover would be quick.  

“Dedicated staff from Supply Services will be going from ward-to-ward to update ordering barcodes,” she said.  

“We want staff to use up their current plastic stock, but from Monday 18 February most staff will only be able to order the green option.

“CCRU and Supply Services are incredibly proud to support this green initiative and we’ll be working with Renae and other staff to investigate other sustainable, environmentally friendly options.”

The sugarcane kidney dish is medical grade, soak proof, oil and waterproof. It has no plastic or wax lining and can be used for both hot and cold items.

Last updated 26 November 2021
Last reviewed 15 February 2019

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