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Princess Alexandra Hospital (PAH) is dedicated to making continued sustainable changes to combat the single-use epidemic embodied by the healthcare sector.
A raft of initiatives has been implemented at the hospital and Executive Director, Dr Michael Cleary said PAH is continually looking at more ways to reduce the hospitals impact on the environment.
“Single-use items are a necessity for many areas of healthcare to keep everyone safe, but PAH is introducing sustainable alternatives and championing responsible recycling options for a range of materials.
Since 2015, a total of 2,706,620 kg of PAH waste has been diverted from land fill through recycling initiatives.
“In 2018, departments across the hospital began to see the introduction of sustainable sugarcane bagasse kidney dishes that can be easily recycled through our cardboard stream,” he said.
“This means over 680,000 plastic consumables from PAH each year are prevented from going into landfill and biodegradable kidney dishes have now been introduced at Redland and QEII Hospitals.”
To date, the PAH recycles cardboard, kimguard, hard plastics, soft plastics, polystyrene, PVC, single use stainless steel, copper wiring, e-waste, batteries and wax.
The community garden at PAH takes sustainability one step further with staff education and food workshops, while engaging with cafés to compost their coffee grinds and volunteers collecting dead flowers from the wards to enrich the soil.
“We are focussed on providing staff with practical, sustainable waste education to ensure they are aware of the correct waste management process which benefits the environment but also reduces our contribution to land fill and the associated waste levy,” said Dr Cleary.
“While some areas of recycling may take a few seconds longer for clinicians to segregate the recyclable product, we have found that our staff and recycling champions are fierce supporters for the cause and willing to assist so we can lead the way with environmental responsibility.”